Position as at 1200 UTC
19 degrees, 40 minute south
163 degrees, 55 minutes west
Distance travelled in last 24 hours: 131nm
Absolutely lovely sailing for the past 24 hours! The nice thing about having the wind from slightly ahead of us is that Maunie just leans into it and charges along, with none of the tiresome rolling associated with downwind sailing. So, once you get used to the angles, it's very comfortable and we are both sleeping well on our off watches.
Stormvogel is just 3 miles behind us and we suddenly have another yacht about a mile to starboard. She's called Genesh and is skippered by rather an infamous American chap called 'Fatty' Goodlander! If you Google 'Cap'n Fatty' or look on the website for the San Francisco sailing magazine 'Latitude 38' you'll find his writing - self-deprecating humour with a lot of sailing experiences thrown in. We chatted on the VHF and learned that this is his third circumnavigation; he's spent over 46 years living on various yachts ("I don't go ashore much, as I tend to get arrested") and this one, a Waquiez 43 ketch, is new to them this year. They are heading to Beveridge Reef too so it'll be interesting to meet Fatty and his wife Caroline in person.
It looks as though conditions should be about perfect for a stop at Beveridge Reef, once we break through the frontal trough that's approaching us from the west this evening and after that we should have favourable conditions for the 100 mile hop to Niue. It is, as they say, a small world. Graham's Godmother, Sue, has two sons, both working in New Zealand. Alan, who Graham last saw probably 20 years ago, is a doctor and we've just learned that he spent 3 months on Niue as the island's doctor. 'The Rock', as it's known, sounds a really interesting place (limestone caverns and clear waters with visiting whales) so we're really looking forward to seeing it.