Here are some of Moes’ recent logs after one of our trips to Pago Pago in American Samoa.
Friday October 12, 2018: Destination Tonga
Wind 15-20 knots. Clear w/Intermittent squeals. Latitude; South 514 degrees 16.370’. Longitude; West 170 degrees 41.752’. Engine inoperable. Windless inoperable.
Attempt to raise anchor in moderate wind. Anchor fouled. Decide to wait for next morning when winds may be lighter.
Pago Pago has several moorings but are taken by skippers or sailing vessels/boats that have given up the sea. The rest must either anchor or side tie to other vessels. For those of us who anchor, I must say, it is in the most deplorable conditions. Six years ago Samoa was struck by a large sunami that washed, in a large part, the surrounding community into the bay. When raising the anchor you usually lift to the surface anything from refrigerator parts to automobile parts. Mostly it will be fencing, fishing nets, other anchors, etc. and without a windless (anchor hauling assembly) you must do this by hand or with the mast winch and spare rope. Andiamo has never had a windless until recently and it was damaged in a storm while we were anchored in Tonga.
Unless you own a boat you can’t imagine the amount of maintenance one has to perform.
Saturday October 13, 2018: Destination Tonga.
Clear w/winds light a variable.
08:30-Start anchor up. Under sail only.
09:45-Anchor, fishing net and fencing up. Tack out of harbour.
11:00-Passed out of harbour between a breaking point and Flower Pot.
Andiamo has been in and out of Pago Pago several times with no problems. This day it was different. We rounded the point and as we slowly began to sail past the small island called the Flower Pot I watched as a very strong current, 5-10 knots began to draw us into the land mass of the island. Because we were “forereaching” (sailing into the wind) close hauled we tacked back towards the harbor. When we were a greater distance from the flower pot we tacked again and cleared the island. (Wphoo)
12:00-Lat. S14deg.21.48’ Long. W170deg.41.136
SOG (speed over ground) 3 kts. COG (course over ground) 200degrees.
Wind E 10 knots. Beam reach.
13:00-Squall Wind 20-25 kts.
14:00-Wind calm. Sea 2 meters.
14:30-Squall. Wind 25kts.
15:00-Wind light and variable. Sea 4 meters. COG 180 magnetic.
15:30-Wind out of the East 15 kts. Sea 4 meters. 23 nautical miles since 12:00.
18:00-Lat. S14 deg.43.06’ Long. W170deg.43.06’
SOG 3.5 kts. COG 200degrees True.
Wind E 10 kts. Beam reach.
By the log entries it becomes obvious how variable the wind is between Samoa and Tonga. In our experiences this has been the norm rather than the rare. It makes for difficult and rough sailing as the sea swells come at the vessel from different directions. Also, the swell varies in size an direction as they collide and rebound off of each other. If equipment and personal items are not secured below it becomes bedlam which is the norm aboard Andiamo in rough seas. Moe and I have had an agreement since the first day many years ago; I would take care of the top sides, she would take care below. Her pack rat style of collecting everything that strikes her eye has overwhelmed her and our quarters. Andiamo was not built for deep sea cruising. Deep sea sailing yes. More as a fin keeled racer or costal sailor without the convenience of storage. I have made the attempt of adding cabinets and shelves but they are poorly built for securing items. My fault. Never the less Andiamo is overburdened with articles she does not need. Having said this the vessel rolls, heaves and pitches with everything below clattering about on the floor of the boat. This is rough sailing in Andiamo and I patiently accept the inconvenience. Believe me I am no saint. Sometimes the situation overwhelms me.
Sunday October 14, 2018
Monday October 15, 2018 Destination Tonga
00:05-25 knotical miles since 18:00 previous day.
SOG 4.5kts. COG 240 deg.
Wind East 15kts.
01:00-Wind increases to 20kts out of the east. Swells building to 5 meters.
06:00-Wind out of the S.E. At 30 kts.
Waves over the bow sweeping for to aft over the boat.
06:40-Waves still sweeping over Andiamo.
SOG 5.5 kts.
COG 222 deg True
These are the conditions that Moe refuses to share with me outside of the salon. She will occasionally peek at me through the slats of the companion way to make sure that I am clipped in with the safety harness on my personal floating device (PFD). I, most assuredly, am. Not only am I secured to the boat I have also provided safety lines running from stern to bow. I am now sailing solo. Most sailors would consider the conditions intolerable but there is in me something that relishes these wild conditions. Andiamo is down to her first reef and the Jenny is furled down to 75 percent. She runs between a beam reach and a close reach with the water level below the gunnels. She lurches as she punches through the larger swells and the shrouds and stays sing above the groaning of the wind. Nature is reaching out to tap me on the shoulder. She definitely has my attention.
12:10-SOG 5.5 kts.
COG 203 degrees True
Lat S 17 degrees 17.20’
Long W 172 degrees 23.54’
Wind 20 kts out of the SE. Close reach
Seas very high-pounding us (drenching). Sunny w/tall cumulus clouds.
15:00-SE wind 30kts 4 meter seas.
16:00-Kayak came loose. Resecured.
Moe comes up and into the cockpit. I believe it was the sun that brought her. She is lovely all decked out in her foul weather gear and smiling. Really, cute as button. I go forward to re-secure one of the lashings on the kyack. The boat is pitching like a wild horse. It is always a challenge to brace ones self on the narrow bow while performing tasks. Although it is not difficult as you can see when the boarding waves advance.