Friday, 25 April 2008

noon 0935.20 16305.45

dtd 4172 so dmg 74. Poo

Pretty much what she said, basically. We're stuck here in the bottom of the ITCZ with 870 miles or so to go to get back into the trades at about 5 deg N. Almost no wind between squalls and whar there is is too soft to push us through very lumpy short sea. Hot, humid generally not cool and froody. All you followers of Zarquon out there, if Mr Quordlepleen will permit, a wind dance on the tables please.

870 miles is just about exactly all our diesel so can't motor all the way. We are trickling north, the shortest distance to get out of it, at about 4 knots with main sheeted to windward and the engine at about half revs.

Was going to bang on a bit about the Polynesian settlement of the South Pacific - from the 8th to the 11th centuries they moved from Samoa right across to Easter Island and possibly Chile, as far north as Hawaii and south to Rapahiti only 1400 miles or so from the Antarctic. They used big double canoes 60 - 70 ft with probably several families plus crop plants, livestock and water and it is thought they could sustain voyages of several months. But - fascinating, this - they used the prevailing winds to get out to each new chain of islands but there was an oral tradition with specific route information based on stars and swell patterns so some of them must have been able to go back the other way. How did they do this, and be able to remember and pass on the information? And they settled an empty New Zealand last of all, probably by following the SE trades back from somewhere to the NE. Imagine putting yourselves, your uncles and your cousins and your aunts, plus your pig, your pet chihuahua, aunty's parrot, breadfruit and other plants perhaps and just setting off more or less downhill. And discovering NZ?