The strong winds our excellent weather forecasters warned us about have arrived in full force. Last night’s training session was put to good use as the genoa (largest foresail) was replaced by the working jib and then the storm jib, while one reef was taken in the main sail and two in the mizzen sail. These reductions in sail area make the canoe much safer and more manageable in strong winds. Hikianalia is popping, creaking and groaning as her new timbers soak up moisture and swell and her new construction settles into place. Both vessels and crews are fine and we are making good speed on a good course toward our first waypoint, the island of Rapa.
time: 2012-10-13 05:38 UTC/GMT (19:38 HST Oct 12)
position: 34 degrees 30.9 minutes S 175 degrees 41.7 minutes W
course: 090 degrees True
speed: 8 to 9 knots
weather: solid overcast, light rain
wind: just east of north, 20 to 30 knots
sea state: NW swells 8-10 feet
vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: too cloudy even to see the sun
Animal Life: Naia (common dolphins) frolicking near the manu. Whale spouts were seen in the distance (possibly sperm whales in the Kermadec Trench?) This is the same area where Hokule’a saw sperm whales on a previous voyage.
Sea Birds and Sea Life: Still quite a few sea birds fishing in this area.
Marine Debris: None seen today; but, we had the interesting experience of sailing through a field of pumice stones floating on the sea. We believe these gray, buoyant stones emerge on the sea floor due to volcanic activity. They ranged from pea-sized to the size of a man’s head. Some had barnacles aboard.