Passage to Niue, Day 1

Miles traveled day 1: 109
Miles traveled total: 109
Miles left to Niue: 957

On Tuesday we finally cast off the buoy at the Bora Bora Yacht Club, went to town and provisioned, then left behind one last chunk of money at Bloody Mary’s having lunch. Wednesday morning we put things away, packed up the last of the groceries, and got us and the boat ready for our first long passage in months. It’s just over 1,000 nautical miles from Bora Bora to Niue on a southwest heading. When we left yesterday we headed northwest in very light winds, sailing with the wind on our beam to keep the sails full and move as quickly as possible north. There are remnants of a system south of us that we’re trying to scoot over the top of. We’ve turned southwest this afternoon and are now headed at Niue.

There’s no guarantee we’ll get to make landfall at Niue when we get there, but that’s where we’re hoping to stop. The weather south near Rarotonga has been too stinky so we’re going to skip even an attempt at a stop there. The harbor is small and completely exposed to any passing northerly winds, which we’ve had a lot of lately. So we’ll hope the weather is settled enough at Niue for a stop and a little exploration. The diving there is reported to be spectacular, with exceptional visibility and lots of marine life. There is no harbor, though, just a bunch of buoys on the northwest side in 100′ of water. So if a northerly blows, people reportedly either just leave or go around the other side of the island and heave to and wait for the weather to settle. After a 10 day passage we’ll hope there’s no waiting for a buoy. The next jump to Tonga is only another couple of days from there.

Right now we’re slogging along in light winds, which we expect to get through this afternoon or evening. Friends 350 miles ahead of us right now are sailing in 20-28 knots. We’d be happy with halfway between the 10 we have and the 25 they have, but we’re committed now and just have to take what we get. We’re hopeful this will be a nicer passage than the ones we made after we reached the Marquesas.

Today on Yohelah we’re getting our sea legs back and hoping for a smooth ride west….

The boat is here