Yesterday we left Uanakuhahaki with plans to go ahead and sail to the southernmost island of Ha’apai – called Kelefesia. The winds were forecasted to drop a bit from 25 to 20 knots. Doesn’t sound like much, but 25 knots is a lot of wind to try and sail on a tight reach. When we began to leave early in the morning we were seeing 20-22 with gusts higher. We were going to head southwest, but there was so much choppiness to the water – and so many reefs along that route – that we decided instead to head west and then due south for a clearer route. This way we would be more downwind for the first part, and hopefully the winds would ease later.
We sailed past a lot of islands including one called Oua. Then we started south. The winds had increased instead to 25+ knots. So, we put a third reef in the mainsail. This meant our mainsail was really small – about the size of a small sailboat. We were still making 7-8 knots if we weren’t too tight to the wind! Once we got into deeper water, there were some 3 meter swells. It was a bit bouncy to say the least. We decided to stop at another island rather than keep going another 3 hours to Kelefesia. We stopped at Nomuku Iki in a nice sandy anchorage behind some reefs. It was still a bit bouncy, but not bad at all for a catamaran.
Paul and I went ashore with the dinghy and did some exploring on the island. It had nice soft sand beaches with some coral rocks in places. There was a wreck of an old fishing vessel on the beach we explored a bit. Along the beach, some trees were hanging over the beach creating shade. There was a huge variety of trees, vines, and other vegetation. We didn’t see any signs of inhabitants here. There is a bigger island north of us called Nomuku that has a village with lots of buildings visible. We ended up walking around about half of the island we were on and then came back.
We plan to move on to Kelefesia next. The winds are still blowing strong…