How Shall We Pass Pitcairn?

October 27, 2018

Day 23

Noon Position: 06 36S  133 06W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SxE 7

Wind(t/tws): ExN 16 – 20

Sea(t/ft): SE 5

Sky: Cumulus and Squalls coming

10ths Cloud Cover: 5

Bar(mb): 1014, falling

Cabin Temp(f): 84

Water Temp(f): 81 (surprising to see the water temp go up)

Relative Humidity(%): 75

Sail: #2 genoa, two reefs; main, one reef; close reach

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 137

Miles since departure: 2981

Avg. Miles/Day: 130

Our steady trade winds are a variable beast this year. An afternoon of clear skies, true wind at 18 – 20 and Mo with double reefs will give way in the evening to a turbulent, squally sky with winds going 12 just about bed time. I’ll wait to shake out a reef until midnight, and by three, it’s 18 – 20 again.

Sometimes the squally weather persists until noon; then clear skies will rein again, and always the wind is pumping between 12 and 20. We reef and shake out reefs as required and now can reef without putting on our glasses; without a headlamp at night.

But at least the wind is slowly backing north of east, allowing a course more for the Horn.

Now the question is how shall we pass Pitcairn Island, the three-mile square home of the Bounty mutineers at 24S and 128W, about 1,200 miles southeast of our current position. Last year we left it well to starboard, passing at nearly 126W on our 33rd day at sea.

But that may be a difficult maneuver this year, as we are so much further west; thus I am allowed to entertain the fantasy of seeing Pitcairn rise from the sea as we sail south. How many of the 50 residents, all descendents of Fletcher Christian and his cohort and the Tahitians they brought with them would come out to wave?

3 Comments on “How Shall We Pass Pitcairn?

  1. Do you use your SSB at all? You should get close to Pitcarin. When are you going to be there again? Not next year hopefully!!!

  2. Not ALL are descendants… in the late 70s I met a sailing family in Tahiti whose 16 year old daughter was returning to Pitcairn to get married! I wonder if she’s till there?

  3. Big difference between now and the old days when it was what latitude am I sailing at – do I pass it to the north or to the south. Good thing those watches are being tested if the question is between east and west. My guess is you will still pass east of Pitcairn before you get headed by a high and have to make a decision on whether to tack to starboard.

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