March 20 2019, a day that will go down in infamy. We awoke to discover
that our new crew boat with it’s just out of the box motor had
disappeared from the stern. We had another boat rented from the Fanning
island council. We sent three crew members in this boat to search for
the lost boat. The motor on this boat broke down while crossing the exit
of the lagoon during full ebb tide. The boat and its occupants were
swept out to sea. We put a call in to a ship anchored nearby but in a
nerve wracking 2 hrs they managed to make it back under their own power.
We loaded copra all day with the help of the local ferry. March 21 we
finished loading copra and 100 empty fuel drums. We embarked 16
passengers and 15 crew at 1730. We had a full suite of emergency drills
before departure. Fire MOB. and abandon ship. At 1830 we got underway,
exited English harbor. March 22 We ripped out the main Clew and motored
the rest of the way to CXI. March 23 Anchored at CXI. 0800. Discharging
drums, Copra and cargo. Finished by 1630. March 24. It is Sunday. Anika
and some crew are organizing the hold, clearing out the fo’c’sle and I
am repairing the main clew. 198 miles March 25 finds us alongside the
tall, 500m long Japanese built steel loading dock on the west side of
CXI. We discharged all day and went to anchor when finished. Wednesday
the 27th we are making preparations for departure and receiving guests
from visiting yachts Blue Star and Roam. We have a fwd draft of 8′ and
an after draft of 10′. We have a hundred drums of fuel on deck and very
little in the hold so we are taking 5000l of water in tanks in the hold
for ballast. We cleared customs by 1830 and were underway at 1900 for
Tongareva, 650 miles to the south. We had 13 crew and 2 passengers who
are onboard to do a documentary on the Kwai. March 28. We motored
through the night and at 0800 set sail close hauled with the engine
ticking over at low rpm. At 13:32 we crossed the equator. Several of our
crew had not made application to Neptune for this privilege and lacked
the proper paperwork so were roundly denounced and doused with ketchup
(not the good kind). 4 of them passed from pollywogdom to shellbackdom
by the mere crossing of an imaginary line. We carried full sail
throughout the night and the following day. We made our way through the
pass on the west side of Penrhyn island at around 1500. It was Sunday so
we were not allowed to come to the dock. We anchored for the night and
on the morning of April 01 2019 we were boarded by two public health
nurses checking for bugs and Dengue which has showed up in Raro. We were
also boarded by 3 Pilots. They take no chances in Tongareva. At 1000 we
were alongside the dock in Omoka harbor getting reacquainted with our
old friends. We discharged all day and did some Kwai store. Tongareva is
the most remote of the Cook islands and also the largest. It is said
that the island of Rarotonga could fit in its lagoon. As a result, it
gets the least visits from supply boats. Our Kwai store always does well
here. We do the store all the next day and are ready for departure at
1700 April 02. It is a beautiful clear day with a 20 kt breeze knocking
off the tops of the breakers and the sun is lighting up clouds of spray.
We exit Tongareva lagoon, say goodbye to the pilots and two hours later
at 1900 with just a twinge of light left in the sky, we hooked a pair of
40 lb yellowfin tuna, one on each line simultaneously. A nice boost on
our way to Rakahanga 198 miles to the west south west. 0800 April 3 the
wind is dead astern so we can only carry the main topsail. We motorsail
slowly through the day. The heat is oppressive so we stop for a swim. We
arrive in Rakahanga at 0800 and manage to anchor for the day. We do a
quick cargo offload and a thumping good Kwai store, carrying our goods
through the surf on the local barge.

Captain Kim 5 April, 2019