Hikianalia Report: October 13, 8:02 AM HST, heavy winds, air warming slightly as we work our way north…
Heavy winds continued throughout the night. With only the storm jib (our smallest foresail), the main sail reefed at the first point and the mizzen reefed at the second point (smallest area for that sail), we still were making 10 knots.
Hū ka makani (1133) “The winds roars.” Said of great speed. (Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No‘eau / Voyaging Proverbs)
With the larger swells, fast speed and newly-constructed canoe, Hikianalia was settling and adjusting her parts with pretty amazing creaking and popping sounds keeping the crew from deep sleep. At about 1:30 AM, Bruce ordered the main sail closed completely and we are making 5 to 6 knots on the storm jib and double-reefed mizzen alone. This is less speed than ocean racing yachts would strive for with these winds, but we are in the mode of long-distance voyaging. Keeping the vessel well within in its limits makes her easier to steer and is less wearing on the crew and the canoe. Yesterday between sunrise and sunset we made 106 nautical miles last night we made 73 nautical miles. So, yesterday, we made 179 nautical miles. The environment is beginning to warm slightly as we work our way northward a little. A welcome trend.
Sail Plan: Why Hikianalia is Heading Toward Rapa Iti Rather than Tahiti
Predicted winds indicate heading 075 degrees true (La/Aina Koolau) toward Rapa Iti as the first waypoint was the best option to cover the long distance we need to travel, given the location of our destination of Tahiti and the direction of the prevailing winds along the sailing route. (For the location of Tahiti, Rapa Iti, and Tubuai, mentioned below, see the Google Map.)
La/Aina Koolau are the direction just about Hikina, or East. Click on the image for a larger compass.
What we must avoid is getting too far north while still west of Tahiti, then find easterly winds in our faces. That would make it difficult to reach Tahiti because we would have to tack into the wind. So we are sailing east now rather than directly toward Tahiti, which is to the northeast.
If we could get more favorable winds, we would adjust the course a little to the north to head from where we are now more toward Tubuai at around 065 degrees true (Aina Koolau). This would shorten our travel if we were able to do so, but it all depends on makani (wind). We just got a forecast that caused Bruce to alter our course to Hikina (due East or 090 degrees true), which would appear to head us away from Tahiti, but it’s the best sailing strategy based on forecasted winds for the next several days.
- position: position: 34 degrees 18.7 minutes S 174 degrees 10.9 minutes W
- course: 075 degrees True
- speed: 5.0 knots
- weather: almost solid overcast, patches trying to clear
- wind: N and a little W of N, 20 to 30 knots
- sea state: developed seas, N swell 8 to 12 feet, wind chop 3 to 4 feet
- vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
- Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: overnight only a few stars peeked out of the overcast, nothing consistent
- Animal Life: None observed overnight.
- Sea Birds and Sea Life: Gulls, Boobies, etc.
- Marine Debris: None observed overnight.
- Tracking Map
- Crew List: Aotearoa to Tahiti
- On Wayfinding (star compass and traditional navigation without instruments)
- Hawaiian Lunar Month (Moon Phases)
- Hawaiian Star Lines (Hawaiian names for stars and constellations)
- Stellarium, a free desktop planetarium at stellarium.org.
- Fish, Birds, and Mammals of the Open Ocean
- Predicting Weather: Reading Clouds and Sea States
- Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting
- Hawaiian Voyaging Traditions (History of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Hōkūle‘a)
- Voyaging Proverbs from Mary Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No‘eau