Phase one of our voyage to Tahiti will end at longitude 160 degrees west, which we are rapidly approaching. Phase two is reaching more northward to the island of Tubuai. But the current weather forecasts indicate that we should press on eastward until about longitude 155 degrees west. When we get there, Captain and navigator Bruce Blankenfeld will make a serious assessment of whether to bear for Tubuai or gain more easting. Both canoes and crews are thriving under unbelievably good sailing conditions.
More easting with the westerlies now will make it easier for the canoes to reach Tahiti in the easterly winds to the north. (Click on the image to enlarge it. From the Hikianalia Tracking Map.
time: 2012-10-17 05:00 UTC/GMT (19:00 HST Oct 16)
position: 32 degrees 12.1 minutes S 162 degrees 57.9 minutes W
course: 090 degrees True (backing winds have driven us down from the reference course a little)
speed: 5 to 6 knots
weather: dry, cold, will be clear tonight for stars, mid-level clouds burning off, local cumulus
wind: south of west, 10 to 15 knots
sea state: SW swells building to 8 to 10 feet, W swells 8 to 10 feet, N swells down to 2 to 3 feet
vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: sun only. Today, we again steered principally by the wind. The wind backed south of west, causing our course to drop down to due east. This is fine as we need to stay south to avoid a large high pressure area to our north that could slow us dramatically or even stall us out.
Animal Life: Nothing to report today.
Sea Birds and Sea Life: Albatross, the beautiful piebald shearwater-like bird and other hunting seabirds continue to cruise in arcs around the canoe.