Niue Passage Day 5

Miles traveled day 5: 128
Miles traveled total: 610
Miles left to Niue: 474

We continue to make pretty good time on the way to Niue. The weather has eased considerably and as I look at the weather charts I see no more fronts between us and our destination. When we left Bora Bora we had reasonably good weather, but it was pretty stinky south towards the Southern Cook Islands. So we headed north to give us a little breathing room. It turned out to be a good decision. Friends of ours who left a few days ahead of us and headed directly southwest reported 30 hours of winds with gusts to 40.

Our first night out the winds died and we motorsailed until the next morning when we met our first front (actually, I think it was a convergence zone). The winds howled and it poured rain all day long. We sailed with a reefed main only and made not such great progress. That night we were between fronts and the wind died and we motorsailed again. I could actually see both fronts on the weather chart and knew we’d be heading back into it again. Sure enough the next morning brought strong winds and rain again all day. The seas were a huge mess, with big swells and troughs about 15′ deep just aft of our beam. Luckily, just before dark the winds eased and we rolled some jib back out and have had a lovely sail ever since then.

Right now the skies are mostly sunny and we have about 15 knots of wind off our port stern quarter. We have out a reefed main and full jib and are making about 5 knots. The seas have settled considerably and we have a pretty quiet ride right now. And the forecast is calling for more of the same of this as we get closer to Niue. It’s still blowing 25 there, so we may encounter some stronger winds as we approach, but actually with it behind us we’re better off with 20 than 15.

We’re scheduled for a Friday arrival at the pace we’re making, but the winds are forecast to still be blowing from the northeast when we get there, so we may have to slow down (rats) and not arrive until Saturday. Niue has no protected harbor. The main town is on the leeward side of the island (northwest), in a little indent that you really can’t even call a bay. There are a dozen or so mooring buoys that are in 100+’ of water. The island is just a big rock that essentially comes straight up out of the ocean. I’ll post more info on Niue after we get there and checked in.

The boat is here