INTO THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE AND CHANGE OF PLAN

We had a wonderful night last night, clear skies, big moon and just the right amount of wind to keep us moving along nicely with a low swell.  The nights are cool and an extra layer of clothes is required for the early morning watches.  I watched Venus rise just after the Southern Cross in the east.  Around one in the morning the wind went light and a couple of hours later filled in from the east.  We are now able to lay our course to Penrhyn and make some ground to the east.  We still have the wind on our port bow and going to weather.  However, I have eased off the angle and we are now sailing about 60 degrees off the wind, more comfortable and a bit more progress through the water.

Just after nine this morning we crossed the equator back into the Southern hemisphere.  This is the first time crossing the equator for Jessica on a boat.  She has now progressed from a pollywog to a shellback and has the certificate to prove it.

Shortly after the equator we had a pod of dolphins come to join us, around ten large bottlenose type dolphins.  Pure coincidence I am sure but a nice welcome to the southern hemisphere.

At three this afternoon we took an executive decision – miss out Penrhyn.  We made this decision for numerous reasons including, fed up going to weather, time is running out for Jessica and me, stores and beer stocks will be getting critical before Tonga.  We think it will be far better to spend some quality time in Suwarrow rather than rushing both Penrhyn and Suwarrow.  I am disappointed to miss out on Penrhyn as everything I have read about the place seems excellent.  But, we can’t beat time.  I have put the wind just aft of the beam and are heading 203 degrees to Suwarrow, some eight hundred and twenty miles distant.

It feels so good not to be going to weather, the boat movement has relaxed to a gentle roll.  No more moving around like a spastic monkey, staggering from one handhold to the next.  Now, if only the wind will stay exactly the same for the next week…….  Total voyage distance 134 miles.

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