Sailing Through Paradise: Hilo, Hawaii to Rangiroa, Tuamotus
Leg #4, June 1997
EQUATOR FRIVOLITY, REINFORCED TRADEWINDS, TUAMOTUS
- Here we come!
July 5, 1997 0800
12 24' S, 147 27'W, Log 5728, Sea 84.6F
Closehauled in 25-30 kts of E winds, charging along at 7.5 - 8.0 kts.
ETA Rangiroa, Tuamotus (155 mi) 22 hrs, or 0600 July 6.
24 hr runs: 163, 150, 147, 144, 126, 148
Mahina Tiare crossed the equator at exactly noon on June 30, then hove
to for a traditional Line Crossing Ceremony where pollwogs became shellbacks
after being read the history of the ceremony, given rubber animal noses,
forced to eat cold green oatmeal and jump into the ocean after a group
photo, to be posted here soon. They then had the unique opportunity to
swim back across the equator in 12,000' of water!
"Pollywogs to Shellbacks" equator crossing ceremony.
The following afternoon we hooked a large skipjack tuna and the crew
was determined that THIS fish was not going to escape as the last four
strikes had, so I quickly headed Mahina Tiare into the wind dropping our
boat speed from 7.5 to 3 kts and Rick pulled the fish straight in and over
the lifelines without waiting for the gaff hook. This fish didn't know
what was happening and when Rick popped the fish head first into our fish-cleaning
bucket, he asked Fiji to hang on to the tail so the fish wouldn't flip
out. Fiji grabbed him and the fish started shaking and jumping so hard
that young Fiji who can't weigh over 140 lbs started shaking and vibrating
by the tremendous energy of the tuna. He then started laughing so hard
he cried and Joe moved in with his pocketknife to dispatch the still vibrating
fish. Three tasty meals of tuna followed...
The trades steadily increased south of the equator until we have had
three days of 25-35kt winds and very confused seas, 12' - 15'. Our crew
really have their sea legs now and are glad that they have had the heavy
weather ocean experience each was looking for. Mahina Tiare III behaves
like a lady, or maybe a cross between a lady and a frieght train. Amanda
and I are surprised at the difference 7' of waterline and 10,000 lbs additional
displacement have made. Mahina Tiare II would be 1 to 1.5 knots slower
and a lot less comfortable in these choppy reinforced trades conditions.
Needless to say our crew is excited about Rangiroa. We have a list of learning
related goals (everyone go up mast, practice coral piloting and anchoring,
learning to deal with the strong currents of the passes) but the lure of
scuba diving or snorkeling with hundreds of sharks in crystal clear water
persists, fed by Randy's discovery of an entire section on diving in Rangiroa
in his Lonely Planet Tahiti Guide.
Next entry from beautiful Rangiroa lagoon where hopefully the water
will be calm and I won't be trying to type and keep from careening out
of the nav station at the same time!
To The Next Log Entry:
Log #6 - 7/10/97