Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Daily Rounds

My days have become a succession of "Rounds". "Time to do my rounds" I say to myself and getting the bucket and mop, soak up from the bilges the accumulated seawater that's made its way in via numerous small leaks along the port side. I do this about every 4 hours and get a bucket full each time - not much but without removing, it would soon enough spill out onto the cabin floor and make conditions even more grotty. The leak into the storage locker high up on the port side is more abundant, and I mop up a saucepan full every hour - left to collect it would soon spill onto the cushions of the settee which are already damp but can still be sat upon.. So when I get up in the morning I mop it out, have my breakfast and mop it out, then I make my coffee and mop it out, I check the sea state and the speed of the boat and conditions "out there" generally - and then I mop it out…and so it goes….

Conditions continue to be rough and heavy going, wind usually 22 to 24 knots and rough sea though swells are not more than 2m. WE are hammering our way along with water all over the boat, the cockpit often awash, and the odd crash as we run off a steep wave or another one belts us in the side - but I am starting to see this all as par for the course, unpleasant, bruising, jarring and tiring but what one must expect sailing the wide ocean, It would be wonderful to only ever have smooth seas and fair winds, but that doesn't happen even for the most cautious day sailor. Par for the course out here but that doesn't mean you have to love it..

At this moment Tubuai is 206nm away, almost exactly due east of me but as I explained yesterday I cannot just sail straight at it, because that's roughly where the wind is from. In fact to get there in this wind I will need to sail about 450 more miles, a giant upside down V shape. However, almost directly north of me, less than 70 miles away is an Island called Rimatara, one of the other of the Austral Isles, of which Tubuai is also one. Sadly, there are no ports or anchorages there, though it is inhabited. The better news however is that another of the Austral Isles, called Rurutu, is 140miles dead in front of me, and there is a sheltered safe ocean anchorage on the western side, according to "Charlies Charts of Polynesia" which is a cruising guide to Polynesia. Rurutu is a mere 115 miles from Tubuai. This raises the possibility of Rurutu becoming my first port of call in French Polynesia, perhaps on Thursday, a safe sheltered anchorage where if conditions are as implied in the guide, I could stay at anchor till the weather is right for a nice sail across to Tubuai, maybe next week sometime. I could get cleaned up, the boat dried out and tidied, have plenty of rest and get my head together again, and arrive finally at my intended destination in Pristine Condition....! Now that would be nice.

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