Predicted winds indicate heading 075 degrees true (La/Aina Koolau) toward Rapa Iti as the first waypoint was the best option to cover the long distance we need to travel, given the location of our destination of Tahiti and the direction of the prevailing winds along the sailing route.. (For the location of Tahiti, Rapa Iti, and Tubuai, mentioned below, see the Google Map.)
La/Aina Koolau are the direction just about Hikina, or East. Click on the image for a larger compass.
What we must avoid is getting too far north while still west of Tahiti, then find easterly winds in our faces. That would make it difficult to reach Tahiti because we would have to tack into the wind. So we are sailing east now rather than directly toward Tahiti, which is to the northeast.
If we could get more favorable winds, we would adjust the course a little to the north to head from where we are now more toward Tubuai at around 065 degrees true (Aina Koolau). This would shorten our travel if we were able to do so, but it all depends on makani (wind). We just got a forecast that caused Bruce to alter our course to Hikina (due East or 090 degrees true), which would appear to head us away from Tahiti, but it’s the best sailing strategy based on forecasted winds for the next several days. Aloha, Mike