Blog 12 – Suwarrow Voyage – Te Ipukarea Society – Rat Baiting Programme

Blog 12 Course diversion – Jun 25, 2022, 10:17 AM – 17′ 22.787, 162′ 43.219
DAY 3 on the water since Suwarrow. Course diversion…what a few days it has been!
As we left Suwarrow, the sun was shining, the birds were circling and the vibe was great. The wind, however, was not very strong. We had the motors on until Thursday 23rd when the 6pm-9pm watch headed into a very dark horizon.
We are now sailing in pretty rough conditions. We have a single reefed mizzen, double reefed main, and staysail up front. At midday yesterday, Friday 24th we had a crew brief and Cap gave the watch captains the decision to either carry on into the roughness or head for Aitutaki to seek shelter or tack back and head for Palmerston as a safe haven until the wind changes in a few days.
Since midday yesterday we have been trying to hold a 214-degree course line, headed for Palmerston Island. The estimation is that we should reach there at some point this evening…
With the weather picking up, the safety precautions have increased with the previous watch staying on stand-by for the following 3 hours, in case help is needed. This means rest is being taken as soon as possible, to have enough energy to be up for the 6 hours.
Meals have also been slightly simplified, but the good flavours still remain. Lots of cabin bread is being consumed as comfort food, and the last of most people’s snacks have been brought up for the longer shifts at nighttime.
Along with the rough weather, we have been lucky enough to observe the constellation Matariki for the past 3 dawns. Around 6am-sih it glistens under the line of planets Jupiter, Mars and the moon. This is a significant time for NZ Maori, as it is the marker of the new years. It is observed for a week or so leading up to the new moon, and whatever stars are visible or not, will predicate how the year to come will be.
Overall, spirits still remain high, with a few running riddles, and dry but needed jokes. The swell has definitely added a dynamic to the sleeping conditions, but since the double watches have begun, people have seemed to be so tired they just crash out.
I am looking forward to a Palmerston experience, whatever it may be. And even if it is just dropping the anchor, that is enough to say that we have been to 2 places on this trip alone.
That is as much of an update I can think of right now, as I lay comfortably and dry in my bunk downstairs.
Cheeehooo from Pounamu, the fellow NZ Maori tag along

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