|Hydrovane mounting twsited off
|Hydrovane twisted sideways and back, stabilised with ropes
|Evening on a calm sea
|The amazing Ocean and the Sky
Looked at as a day on the water, yesterday was quite fantastic, and I enjoyed it. The weather was perfect, the sea was benign, the wind stayed in the right quarter and strengthened just enough to get Sapphire sailing as well as she can – about 6.5 knots most of the afternoon in 14 to 16 knot winds - and we made it safely back to port.. 60 miles in 12 hours is about as good as Ive ever done on Sapphire, though I was obsessive about my left hand driving the whole day as I wanted to arrive and negotiate the passage through the reef before sunset, a challenge that had appeared out of reach early in the day.
In fact we reached the waypoint on my handheld
GPS with half an hour to spare – but the waypoint was set a mile or two offshore, so by the time I got to the Pass the sun had set. Inexplicably, at that crucial moment – well probably because I was fumbling about in the half dark – the backlighting on the Handheld went off and I couldn’t read the screen except by turning on the cockpit light and holding the GPS on an angle so I could see it at least dimly, but other than that there were no dramas as I followed the leading lights through and then motored very cautiously up the channel to once again tie up at Marina Apooiti, at about 7pm. Hopping ashore to tie off the ground started rolling all over the place. I thought I would be elated but instead felt deflated more than anything else, to think I had spent 10 hard days alone at sea, successfully dealt with what had seemed to me at the time a serious problem but after 1000 miles here I was back at Square One.. I was too tired to eat. so I drank some water and went to sleep on the cabin sole, and I slept well!
|Maupiti to Port