Monday 3pm LT/Tahiti time (Tues 0100 GMT) Warm and humid but sun mostly hidden under cloud coming off Moorea, so not too much danger of getting burnt while working on deck.
Suddenly noticed quite a large flying fish behind the steering wheel that must have flown on board overnight - bit enough to eat but now rather dried up.
Have repaired a couple of small tears on mainsail where access was easy since where stowed on boom near cockpit; re-did lashing at top of pole holding down, and stopping from turning, the antenna and radar mount; with difficulty, due to corrosion of parts, changed over propane tanks for galley cooker supply (two attempts, since flow stopped very soon after finally managed to connect up first tank, so maybe it was empty); stowed spinnaker pole. ...All the time, keeping us safe from drifting onto the reef not so far away to W.
Also prepared for sail repair - now ready to lower mainsail for access to head of sail where problem lies. We seem to be sailing/drifting NW-N now in a light SSE wind that has not long kicked in, so I'm feeling fairly confident we won't get any closer to the reef - still under 4 miles away to E - not far but drift is in a good direction to stay clear.
3:20pm Rain! Just what I didn't want since I was just about to stick sail repair tape over leech tear in mainsail before covering it all with some fabric 'tabling' using some burgundy-coloured material used normally for the UV-strip on the furling sails. Feeling pretty frustrated with today's events - was taken in direction of reef in virtually no wind and so have spent a lot of time trying to keep us away from it. We frequently ended up going around in a circle with such light wind and so I often had to jumo to the wheel, trying to get us to head SW or W when that looked like the only safe option - but all at very little speed since wind has been so very light, as well as it being highly shifty. I steered to anywhere we could actually hold a course for a time, so long as it took us away from the reef direction!
3:35pm 10-14kt of E wind under rain cloud - so we're making 3kt NNE. Having to keep watch for other boats - sailing yachts and small fishing vessels - several around.
5:30pm Wind died to 4-7kt with seas from E at 1.5m. Probably still in lee of Moorea and also of Tahiti. Sun setting soon, so decided to get underway since not able to do sail repair today - another day...
Feeling tired and hungry so will get a meal while still some daylight and hope to get to sleep early tonight - except need to keep an eye out for local traffic - a lot between the islands - a mix of ferries, fishing vessels and sailing yachts.
9pm Waxing crescent moon high up. A few clouds but mainly a starry sky. Struggling to keep course in just 7-9 kt of ESE wind - in lee of Tahiti and Moorea still. Enjoyed hot beef stew with green beans and sweetcorn - now to bunk - very tired after disturbed sleep last night and up very early this morning.
Tuesday 12:40am (Tues 1040 GMT) We're well out of the Tahiti wind shadow (lee) now - headig N and making well over 6kt in 19kt wind from ESE, with full genoa and one reef in main... Sailing very well.... lovely!
8am Bright blue sky with 9kt E wind, making 4.3 kt just E of N (004T). Speed down in lighter wind after excellent overnight sail - need to shake out first reef before breakfast. Checked in to Polynesia Magellan Net (PolyMagNet) - good to chat to cruisers in and around French Polynesia.
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.
It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 279. We made 72 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Not too bad - made good speed once underway, especially after midnight, after stopped near Moorea all day for jobs needed.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 279 (by daily DMGs): 22,816 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2105 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 71 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2306 n.ml. to NNW
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 16-21.93S LONGITUDE: 149-43.01W
COURSE: 000T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1015.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 29.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Wind getting light - SOG down.Full sail. Bright sun. Calm sailing!