Aboard Hokule`a at 10/06/99 by Sam Low
During the 6 to 10 watch the sky once again clouded over substantially, making navigation difficult. We are sailing beneath a trough formed by a dissipating low and a front between two high pressure systems which threatens to bring in unpredictable winds and heavy clouds for a while. During the night, the navigators obtained imprecise observations of a few stars. Even so Nainoa determines we have entered the W corner of our search box, about 280 miles W of Rapa Nui. "We have got to get S to the latitude of Rapa Nui (27 degrees 9 minutes S) as soon as we can and then take stock of the situation to set up a search pattern," Nainoa says at the evening navigation meeting. During the 6 to 10 watch Nainoa and Chad were able to sight Alderamin and obtain a rough latitude of 26 degrees S, but this estimate, because of clouds and the lack of a moon to illuminate the horizon, was uncertain.
After midnight, the winds died down and Hokule`a hove to until just before dawn when a frontal passage brought strong 25-30 knot winds from the SW, switching to the SSE. The crew lowered the mizzen mast, removed the large light wind sail, and tied on a smaller one, also changing the jib. Shrouds and stays were tightened up in anticipation of continuing heavy winds.
For a time, the canoe lay hove to in heavy rain and gusting winds with everyone on deck and dressed in full heavy weather gear.
In the early afternoon we once again raised all sail and
set our course S by SE into a chill wind under a low cover of clouds which
appeared to be lifting.
For back reports on the leg to Rapa Nui, go to Rapa Nui Back Reports
For more information on the leg to Rapa Nui, go to The Mangareva-to-Rapa Nui Page
For more information on the quest for Rapa Nui, go to the PVS Homepage