Sunday 2 June 2019

Towards Nuie

We left Suwarrow yesterday morning bound for Nuie. Nuie is a tiny
independent country, about 10miles by 7 of about 1600 people. It has
no reef, and is steep to, so we'll be mooring on buoys fixed in deep
water on the west of the island. If the wind goes round to the west,
we'll need to move on quickly,

We had a bit of nearly drama yesterday when leaving Suwarrow. We noticed one of the other yachts that had left just before us
was in a funny place away from the pass. Basically they had got their
navigation seriously wrong and were trying to exit the atoll (like
Tuamotus) where it was no way deep enough plus a strong cross current.
They went aground. We contacted them on the VHF and stood by to help
(we were out of the pass by then). Thankfully they managed to get
afloat even though tide was dropping, then we guided them remotely
through deeper water back towards the anchorage again (we could see
their exact location on AIS. I think they had poor charts!) An added
complication is that they are a dutch couple in their 70s whose
English is poor. They joined the WARC fleet in Papeete. Pim did a
brilliant job managing the radio and advising them what to do in Dutch.
Once back at the anchorage other ARC boats helped them check their boat
for damage and led them out of the pass safely. Phew. Really Tintin or
a cat would have been the only boat capable of navigating to where they
were stuck to pull them off. Thankfully not needed but we did hold our
breath a bit!

It was very quiet yesterday with little wind, also Richard's birthday.
We linked up with Aurora B at tea time motoring close alongside and
threw a box of birhday cake over, then had a deep blue swim altogether,
nice as the air temp was 36 deg.

Today, the fish have been biting - 2 smallish wahoos and a 1.5m
sailfish. The fridge is now fully loaded and I've declared a
moratorium on fishing to preserve stocks. Getting the fish on-board
took a few minutes, but substantially less than filleting the
fish and cleaning the blood and guts from deck and cockpit. I have to
admit, though, that Richard is very good at cleaning up after himself.

The wind has filled in and we're going at 7 knots on a beam reach.

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