It’s an overcast, muggy and ‘clothes optional’ day


December 22, 2016  Leg 2 Day 2  (off Aitutaki in the Cook Islands)


Just after 7 a.m. here, still have our great easterly wind steady at 20 knots and making good time over the bottom (which is 4,364 metres below our keel).

We still just have half the yankee and a tolerably comfortable 6 knots of speed. It’s ‘steamy’ down below. I can’t open any hatches because of water over the boat frequently.

There was a very short but beautiful soft pink blush in the low cloud cover as the day gradually appeared. The clouds are low and close on horizon this morning and it’s raining hard. I had a fresh papaya this morning which was still cool from the remaining two bags of ice I took on board yesterday.

It was a fitful night last night with some important navigation to do between the two Southern Cook Islands of Aitutaki and Manuae. I am always concerned about being within 20 miles of shore especially at night, alone on a lee shore. We happily cleared them about 2:00 am. The next group of islands we will come close to is the Northern Cook Islands of Manihiki and Rakahanga, 500 miles further north up longitude 160 West.

These days of overcast skies and strong winds are taking us north at a good rate, but they rate fairly low on the comfort scale for the crew. So I will be reading and cleaning up, may make my stew and also standing in the rain whenever possible to chill out.

Enjoy that cool winter weather, if you are in the northern hemisphere. If you’re reading this in the southern hemisphere, it might be time to throw another mystery bag on the barby. 


The crew of a local long line fishing boat that I was tied alongside for my stay in Rarotonga help me cast off yesterday morning at about 8:30 after I got my customs clearance paper, which I must have at my next port of call to get in to the Hawaii. It was overcast, hot and muggy. For the past few days I could see the steady wind blowing and watched the surf break against the breakwater just off my transom. All that wind going to waste as I sat making repairs and provisioning!  As soon as I cleared the breakwater, we were in the thick of it.

We’re heading north to Honolulu, about 2550 nautical miles at six knots. We have half of the yankee out, and no main. Our speed is a steady 6 knots and since that beautiful tropical island disappeared quickly into the mist, we’ve put 50 nautical miles (Note: as of yesterday) under our keel. The average waves are 2-3 metres with some larger sets at 4+ metres.

We are on a beam reach with the wind out of the East so we are sailing parallel to these legions of determined soldiers. The motion is lively and we have lots of creaking and groaning and water on the deck. The air temperature is in the low thirties and the water temperature is just below that. I was very exhausted after setting sail and stowing everything this morning and it was so pleasant in the cockpit that I lingered there for a few hours dozing of and on.

My short stay in Rarotonga was enjoyable and as usual I met some wonderful people. Christine and David Hockin, from the beautiful south of England invited me back to their holiday flat for a delicious home cooked meal and lots of great conversation. They are on a trip around the world and their next stop is NZ. Thanks for the “salt water” soap Chris and David. It will definitely come in handy.

The local sport fishing community adopted me and with George’s help I was able to get on with my repairs. Thanks also for beer and great company at happy hour (or two). Also a big shout out to Bob E51 BQ for being there to help me on my almost disastrous harbour entrance, and for use of his hose.

I’m well stocked with fresh fruit to get me across the equator thanks to many people. No scurvy here!

I’m glad it’s overcast at the moment, a bit muggy but no glaring tropical sun to fry me. This is a ‘clothes optional’ day here.

I’m looking at making my stew for dinner but my appetite is not quite up to the job. I’m working on getting my sea legs back and used to the motion again.

Cheers for now.  Glenn


  1. Judi Kellow says

    Hello Glenn As always I’ve enjoyed reading your descriptive and interesting blogs. For some reason I was under the impression that you’d sold West Wind II last year but obviously not. I wish you a safe and peaceful trip home. Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Best wishes. Judi

  2. George Stricker says

    Hello Glenn Wishing you good luck and fair winds for the continuation of the trip and to let it be as enjoyable as possible.
    Thanks MaryLou for providing us so well with this link. All the best for both of you and your family. George and Eva

  3. Still cheering you on Glenn!

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