Report Update by Lee-Anne
24th April, 2011 - Sunday (Fiji Time - 25th April, 2011 - Monday)
Position: Latitude 30 30.0 South, Longitude 178 44.5 West
Bula and Good Morning
As we finished our 0300hrs - 0600hrs shift the sun was rising which was absolutely beautiful. Peni and I grabbed the cameras to capture the moment. There's something about the sunrise out at sea which makes it that extra special. As mentioned in my last report we retarded 1 day at midnight last night so it's still the 24th again for us today. We are in the middle of the Kermadec Islands with Curtis Island on our starboard beam and Macauley Island right ahead. Everyone else is West of us, we are the furthest East. We've been going slow but at least we've been heading East as much as possible. The other 4 vaka's and support boats have been doing speed but heading N/NNW away from where we want to go. We expect the winds to change North'ly late today or tomorrow and then we'll change to a port tack and head East. Hopefully we can cover enough ground before it gets calm again. Loma who finished her shift at 0300hrs was feeling a bit feverish this morning. It's not seasick. She's still eating though which is good. She's taken some paracetamol for the fever and will sleep till her shift which starts at 0900hrs.
Breakfast was cereal, baked beans and spaghetti with biscuit and bread and of course that cup of tea to start the morning. Another day where everyone was on deck to soak up the sun. Foftein which is one of the support boats sailed up beside us to take a few pics and then trailed our stern.
After our shift skipper asked Angelo (the electrician on board) to locate the multi-adapter as it was in an awkward place and other electrical duties as we are also having problems with our VHF radio since the installation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) shares the same antenna as the VHF radio. The other canoes are able to hear us but we cannot hear them until we are very close.
At about 1500hrs all the canoes except Haunui caught up to each other so we dropped the main and mizzen sails along with the stay sail and started drifting to wait for them. Skipper and Mausio dropped the hydrophone to see if they could hear anything interesting down in the deep blue ocean but all was quiet. Everyone drifted around for about an hour waiting for Haunui. Steven, Joshua, Mausio and Agnes were lucky as they were on watch and did not have to do much. Haunui finally caught up at about 1700 hrs and a karakia (traditional maori prayer to bring good winds) was said and we carried on. We are now on a port tack and heading ESE. At least it's more East than we were doing on a starboard tack.
While we were drifting around Skipper, Seta and Peni modified the new stove. The grill where the pots sat was too high from the burner and a kettle took 45 minutes to boil so they cut and grinded and filed and managed to dropped it down to an inch closer to the burner and now it takes 10 mins to boil a kettle. Once the stove was completed Seta and Peni jumped overboard for their bath.
At about 2100hrs we were one of the last canoes with Haunui on our starboard side when they seemed to try and cut us off at about 2150hrs. Ben and Billy Boy were shining their torches constantly as we knew they were getting too close for comfort. As they had the right of way Kaiafa who was on the Uli had to bear away for us to give them way. This of course slowed us right down which gave Kaiafa a rush to now beat all the canoes. Nothing like ticking off the Flying Fijians .... And sure to his word he steered and cleared all the other 4 canoes which were really close and the 2 support boats. Chef Ben even had a go at steering and was promised a sleep in if he kept the lead with on the Uli. Lets see if Kaiafa will be making breakfast in the morning.... hmmmmmm
At about 2320 Macualay Island was sighted to our starboard side. Can't really tell the exact distance but seemed to be about 10miles or so. Loma is now a lot better and is up for her shift which starts at midnight.
Even though we are all having this once in a lifetime experience with a lot of laughter to make the voyage even that more special we are all missing our families, friends and all those that are dear to us. Please keep us in your prayers for fair winds and a safe voyage.
Lolomas from the Uto Ni Yalo