May 11 - Day 22 We're almost there

Position: S13deg35min/W145deg06min
Day 21's run: 126 nm
Avg speed: 5.3 kn
Course: 200
Wind: ESE 15
Seas: ESE 6'
Sails: 2nd reef main; jib
Ship's log: 2539 nm
We had a comfortable night sailing and this morning it's been blue skies and sunshine. We're happy with slower speeds now, as we have to time our approach to the pass into Manihi for about high tide or the slack tide, which occurs an hour after the high tide. We were given tide information by the gentleman who runs the SailMail station on Manihi, Xavier Michel, which indicates that high tide tomorrow is at 1:28pm. So, right now we have about 87 nm to Tairapa Pass, and about 24 hours or so to cover that distance, which translates into an overall speed we should be doing of 3.6 knots, but we're going much faster than that. Our strategy is to continue at whatever speed the present wind allows us to go to our first waypoint NE of the atoll, which we should reach at about 11:15pm, then slow the boat down to a crawl for the last 35 nm run to the entrance. In that way, should conditions change this far away, we'll be much closer to our waypoint and make any necessary speed adjustments once we've reached it, rather than make assumptions from 87 nm away. Get it? It really does get the crew into some strategic decision making and since we're closing land, in my eyes the most important part of the entire passage is the next 24 hours.

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