Maunie and Stormvogel with spinnakers, just before the rain started
Position as at 02.30 GMT:
13 deg 07 min south, 143 deg, 06 min west
Last night the wind began to drop away but we were able to continue sailing, albeit slowly and the sea calmed nicely allowing Dianne to multi-task in her 4.00am to 8.00am watch; she made another of her wonderful Nutella sponge cakes, much to Graham's delight.
This morning the wind dropped more and we motored for about an hour but, after Dianne had gone to get some sleep, the breeze then perked up a bit and Graham hoisted the Irish Flag spinnaker. Stormvogel flew their spinnaker too so we had some nice close sailing and plenty of photo opportunities. After lunch the breeze died and we got the spinnaker down just before the heavens opened and we've now had about 3 hours of heavy rain with not much sign of it letting up. At least we've been able to use the rainwater from the decks to refill the main water tank.
So, slightly depressingly as usual on our sea passages, we seem doomed to ending this one under engine as the breeze has disappeared and the Grib files suggest that it won't return for about 4 days. At least we should be able to make landfall in daylight (our ETA was slipping badly as we were sailing slowly) which is vital for the Tuamutos atolls as they are very low-lying and mostly unlit; the entrance to the lagoon at Takaroa is via a pass on the western side of the island which has a strong current running in it so we're hoping to arrive at slack water on Sunday afternoon. The light winds should also make the anchorage comfortable and we chatted, via SSB radio, to a boat already there this morning and they said that the village was quaint but offers such luxuries as freshly-baked bread. Unfortunately we have also been told that it's a Mormon community so there won't be a real ale pub.