The wind turns north / 10 May 2011
Hine blog 090511 Monday Day 21
Position S17’49 W153’31
We are steering in the house of Whitinga. It feels like it is the first time we have done this on the whole voyage. In a distant past we remember the big yellow canoe Aotearoa One escorting us while we were detaching ourselves from Aotearoa. Then we steered towards the rising sun. In the mid morning today, drizzling with rain, the wind disappeared. We have discovered some issues again with the radar reflector and during a calm moment we took the opportunity to fix it. Kaltavag got in the bosuns chair, rushed up the mast and secured it again. It's like the little guy can stick himself to the mast, he doesn't have any problem working up at the top. Beforehand, the skipper was up the mast but the wild movements 13m up prevented him to do anything but hold on. Back down on the deck Kaltavag admits that he is actually very skilled in climbing coconut trees. He has climbed trees three times the height of the mast. In Vanuatu, and in many islands, they have competitions on who can climb the trees the fastest. And he says that the fastest way is to sort of scoot up the tree, then turn around and go back down head first! We have a little trouble seeing how this would work, but it is the same in many other islands. After learning this, we have renamed Kaltavag; 'Gecko'.
Finally the wind turned north. We go on the long waited for port tack. The wind is great and we are flying east. For a few hours this goes on until a squall suddenly changes the wind again, this time to the south. And drops off to almost nothing. As the evening begins the wind goes back to the north. The crew is still lingering on the deck, finally able to sit and enjoy each others company without being wet. We talk and share stories while the ukulele is being passed around to give the background feeling only a Cook Island 8 string uke can do. We are happy now.