Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Seas Again

Day 1 Easter Island to Mangareva, Gambiers
South Pacific Ocean
27 40,4S, 109 56.9W
Wind 15-20 kn WNW
Seas 6 foot primary Westerly swell
COG 200 mag, SOG 7.9 Kn

...and headed to Mangareve Island in the Gambiers. It was sad to leave Easter Island, but it was also time to go. We had already delayed our planned weekend departure due to adverse winds along the route, and were anticipating an enforced 6-8 day delay until conditions improved. Fortunately, we found a good departure window for today and we were ready to go when the Chilean Armada (Navy) closed all harbors on Easter as Easter Island was facing strong northerly winds of 20 to 25 knots and anticipating a large SW swell. This combo would make any harbor on the island untennable and all boats were asked to leave.

We had left the main harbor of Hanga Roa 2 days ago as a large (6 foot) NE swell made that harbor uncomfortable/untennable and wenrt around to the east side of the island to a beautiful harbor named Hanga Hotuiti. This is the home of the Ahu Tongariki with 15 restored Moai on the shore. We had visited by land, and now by sea, and both visits will be unforgattable. Our 2 nights there were rolly as the protection it provides does not equal it's exquisite scenery...but, that is the nature of Easter Island - you have to work to get to enjoy it.

We are working with meteorologist Ken Mckinley (locusweather.com) who is assisting us with weather routing, and our sail plan is to head SW through a frontal passage towards 30S 113W. As we approach 30S tomorrow afternoon, our NW to W winds should ease and go to the SE and at that point we shall turn west towards the Gambiers. We have met wonderful people along the way, and we have friends waiting for us at Rikitea, Mangareva Island, and friends immediately behind us who also left today.

54 miles under our belt, and about 1450 to go.

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