After quite a bumpy night where not much sleep was had, we decided that we could not put off a tack any longer. So we tacked away and started heading south. The plan was to get back to the rhumb line, and then go another 20nm or so beyond it to give us some room to get a better angle into Noumea.
Shortly after the tack we were hit by a number of squalls with plenty of wind and rain, but a bonus of some ENE wind, helping lift us a bit more easterly than we had expected. It didn’t last long but we enjoyed it. The wind was soon back in the E for most of the day. Though this put us heading away from Noumea, it should come good at the end.
The sea state had calmed considerably, so showers all around. Then much to the amusement of the crew, I took a big wave over the helm and was soaked to the skin in salty water. Pah!
We also took the opportunity to shift time one to New Caledonia time. Last nights sunset at 4:30pm was a bit depressing. We should have sun until 5:40pm this evening!
Within the last few minutes, we decided to tack back. The winds had been flicking between ESE and SE for a while - incredibly this is the first time a shift has matched the forecasts! So we’re now 20nm south of the rhumb line, a nice SE4/5 blowing and we’re laying a course well south of Noumea. We’ll continue to bank a bit of south for 24 hours but by Sunday evening we’ll start pointing more directly at Noumea. ETA is now looking like after dark on Monday, but we may have scored a berth and if so, I’m hoping we can go straight into it whatever time we arrive....