Day 33 Starbuck Island 04/10/13

Oct 4, 2013 am 

Position: 05. 59 S, 154. 32 W

We made good headway through the night. I ate my dinner – stew and rice – in the cockpit to keep cool and watch the stars. 

It must be coffee time there at home. I was up in the night on the lookout for the islands. We passed Starbuck Island last night. Unfortunately they don’t have a ‘sail through’ so we didn’t stop. We’re going well, at a nice speed and are a little off the wind – more towards a reach – so the motion is a little better. Still doing a steady 7+knots.  

It’s a fabulous day, bright blue sky, white cotton clouds and the sea is sparkling. We have 15 knots of easterly wind pushing us along, the sea is boisterous, very blue, and giving me a ride I find difficult to stand up to. At the moment we have three reefs in the main and the jib rolled up past the usual two reefs and she is still doing 6.5 – 7  knots and throwing lots of water over the deck, some of which much is finding its way down into the boat. Although the drips are small they are consistent.

A beautiful day like today is great for sailing but it’s no place to be exposed to the sun. The sun is brutal and my only refuge is down below, where it’s hot, but comfortable. I’ve been reading and charting courses and looking at the pilot charts to check out the prevailing winds. I’m hoping to carry this easterly for another five or six days which would take me down to 13 S and 159 W just at the end of a long string of islands that end in the northern Cook Islands. After that we’ll see how the weather is shaping up. Eventually I’d like to pick up the north easterlies and head across and down the NZ coast.

For now, it doesn’t get any better. 

Heading: 185 true Boat Speed: 7 knots Wind: NE 15 knots Swell: NE 1.5 m Bar: 1008 Cloud: 30 % Temp:27 C Miles last 24 hrs: 180




  1. Hi Glenn, what news on the ornithology front? You should be seeing Tropic birds, terns and Magnificent frigate birds while you’re near the islands.

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      You are absolutely right about the proliferation of birds now that I’m close to the islands and they are magnificent! Storm Petrels, Boobies, Tropic Birds, White Terns but no Albatross, because there is not enough wind. I think my favourite is the small dark storm petrel. They are around the boat day and night. They are distinctive in that they are the only birds that have a voice – a soft squawk. Lately, when I’ve been on deck shortening sail either just before, or during a rain squall I can hear them around the boat. I can’t see them at all as during these rain squalls at night.It’s difficult to see the bow of the boat and if it wasn’t for the light from the masthead, I could not see a thing. How they navigate is a total mystery. These black out conditions leave me completely disoriented. Most of the birds are attracted to my fishing lure, which is dragging behind the boat. Disappointingly, the fish are not.

  2. Glenn,

    Progress so far sounds very good. I have been noticing the type of ‘repair’ you have been sharing with us and that is the normal loosening of fasteners. I am interested in your program for going over ALL possible types of fasteners before the heavier weather conditions come alone to make such ‘repairs’ difficult. Do you categorize the types of fasteners or the type of rigging that is involved? Do you have a schedule for preventative maintenance for various areas of the boat. Like one schedule for rigging, one for structural areas, one for water access, one for all structures over five feet above deck level etc. My quite ordinary crossing from England was so much less demanding but one of the reasons we had an uneventful voyage was because we were forever doing preventative maintenance. Notice “we” which made things so much easier. Our most common problems were turnbuckles and shackles not wired closed. Anyway this might seem a bit presumptuous but I think it still an important reminder to get all the check-ups done when there is good conditions.

    As always my wishes for the best possible conditions and your ability to handle the not so good times.

    Mike Fibiger-Crossman

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