Position as at 0200 UTC
20 degrees, 7 minute south
162 degrees, 9 minutes west
Distance travelled in last 24 hours: 140nm
We left Rarotonga yesterday lunchtime with some sadness – we felt that there was a lot more we'd like to do on the island (we didn't manage to do the cross-island hike, for example) but we decided that one northerly blow in that terrible harbour was enough. There was another northerly due today so we got out in calm conditions and are now heading west.
We're facing some intriguing wind conditions – the direction, as forecasted, is going from NE through N and is now just W of N so we are hard on the wind, sails sheeted in and boat heeling over to port but going well. There's a very light swell so we are making comfortable progress at the moment. Tonight and tomorrow the wind will go further towards the west so we'll find ourselves unable to point at our destination and will be heading S of W so for the past 24 hours we've been heading N of our proper course to gain some northerly miles in hand.
If conditions allow, we'll make a slight detour for an interesting overnight stop about 100 miles before Niue. There's an isolated coral reef, just awash, called Beveridge Reef that offers a shelter anchorage (from swell not wind) in the middle of the ocean. Finding it might be tricky as it's reported to be up to 3 miles from the position given on the charts and it won't show up on radar! We'll approach with caution.
As we left Rarotoga we had a long and friendly chat with the immigrations officer who was trying to make sense of world politics in the wake of the Syria news; we weren't much help! If anyone can email us with a brief synopsis of the latest news (or a cut and past from the BBC website) it would be good to have – we're feeling pretty cut off from the world, particularly at sea, whilst Big (American) Things are afoot. No doubt the Ftse is in turmoil and oil prices are reaching record levels but, like the lady in Rarotonga, it's be nice to be able to make sense of it all. Any emails, as ever, of any content would be very welcome to maunie (at) mailasail.com