April 27

Last night passed easily with us motor sailing at 7k in cloudy skies. Occasional squalls mostly missed us and wind angle held steady at 50 degrees off the bow. Seas were calm with a swell from the NW. Winds we light at 8-12k.

This morning before 6am a series of squalls began to assault us. The wind started to came around to the West more and our angle decreased until we were motor sailing. Since dawn the wind has been from the West and our apparent angle between 30-38 degrees off the bow. At one point the wind came around to the SW and we had only 20 degrees apparent and had to roll up the jib, only to roll it out again a half hour later when the wind came back to the West. One squall in particular drenched us in pouring rain, but, unlike two days ago none of the squalls packed more then 15-17k of wind.

At 10 am we are now 36 miles from the entrance channel and motor sailing at 7k over ground in 10-12k of wind from the West. Our apparent wind angle remains 30-35 degrees and our genoa and main are hauled in tight. We expect to enter the channel (called North Entrance) at about 3:30pm this afternoon, in about 5 1/2 hours. Our fuel situation is good. We have about 30 gallons in tank 1 and 15 gallons in tank 3 (tanks 2, 4 and 5 are empty). We also have 5 gallons in a jerry jug on deck for emergencies – we emptied our 2 other 5 gallon jugs into tank 1 about an hour ago. We can motor at full throttle for 12 or 13 hours using just what is in tank 1, so we are confident we can make port before dark even if the wind goes SW again and we have to motor upwind without benefit of sails.

By 11am the wind shifted to the SW as we feared. We rolled up the genoa and increased the throttle to maintain a 6k average speed. The wind is 10-12k from the SE and we have an apparent wind angle of 15-20 degrees which is enough to keep the mainsail filled and give us a slight boost. We are running the engine almost flat out at 1900rpm and burning 2 gallons per hour in the process.

At 2:15 we are 10nm from the entrance to Kavieng Harbor. We expect to enter the harbor at about 3:45pm. It is only about a mile and a half from there to the anchorage and so we should be hook down by 4:15. The remains overcast with about 75% cloud cover and numerous squalls in all directions. Seas are calm with a swell from the NE (go figure).

At 4pm we were in the main harbor but spent almost an hour poking around trying to figure out where to anchor. The chart is completely different in terms of landmarks and the guide book we have that show the proposed “best” anchorage has few landmarks and none that are recognizable from the water. Finally at about 5pm we were well anchored about 200yds off the beach. At 5:15 the skipper began work to replace the reefer water cooling pump which failed the first day out of Kapinga. Kate prepared dinner (pasta bolognaise) while Jordan worked on the pump and by 7pm the freezer and fridge were back on line. It is now 9pm and the wind is down to about 3k from the SE and all is peaceful.

Tune in to our personal logs in the coming days to read about our first impressions of Papua New Guinea, New Ireland Island and Kavieng.