May 24

The last night was significantly different from the one before. That's a good thing. Although we didn't have the best wind through the night, and when it was blowing it wasn't always favorable - too far South and not enough East - we did manage to sail a good bit of the time, but we motor sailed also. If we weren't worried about entering the pass at slack water we would not have bothered motoring, but making 5.5k was not good enough if we wanted to arrive at Makemo at the right time, so we ran the motor as well at 1500rpms to boost our speed to 7.5 - 8k over ground.

During the day we did a bit better and motored the majority of the time. The skies were partly cloudy and the seas were much calmer then yesterday with a SE swell at 3-5ft. The wind blew between 12-17k most of the time from midnight till noon and then moderated to 8-12k during afternoon.

We entered Arikitimiro Pass at 2pm, right when it was supposed to be slack water. Unfortunately, this was not the case (after all that rushing) and instead we came in with the flood (could have been worse) and cooked through the pass at 6k with the engine barely turning over the prop. It seems, after speaking with Gavin from Saeirse (pronounced Circe) that the WX tide program we are both using is 2 hours off! Other then that, he says, it is perfectly accurate. I am going to write a nice e-mail to the author of that lovely piece of work (which is a GNU freeware app BTW for all of you software types).

We anchored in front of the village in a depth of 62ft and let out 240ft of chain and then another 15ft of snubber (a nylon rope woks to the chain and is used as a shock absorber to cushion the boat from pulling up hard on the chain). The scenery here is indescribable, the water an incredible turquoise blue to match anything we have seen in the Caribbean. We are looking forward to doing some serious diving here! But first, eat, sleep and then cleanup (well, perhaps we'll clean up a bit first).