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May 7, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #5

Day 4. Friday, May 7, 1999, 1948 GMT
Latitude: 18deg 30.539N
Longitude: 158deg 40.278W
Wind E force 3-4 knots.

I knew from the start that making miles west would be the easy part for this next stretch to Tarawa. The easterly trades are extremely predictable this time of year. It would be making sufficient degrees south to hit the tiny coral atoll that would be the tricky bit.

After the first few days since departing Kona I thought my initial concerns to be unfounded; Moksha was cutting a near perfect course both south and west. The voyage was off to a really great start – unlike Mick’s departure from Kona last year that had him battling from the get-go to claw south of the island. At midday today however when I checked the GPS for a mid-24hr reading, I realized the ocean currents had changed much as they were predicted to do so by the pilot charts. Even at 210 degrees Moksha was losing to the north. I tried her at 180, but she was still losing ground. My game plan right now is to keep moving at 225 until I reach far enough west for the current to change in my favour.

**CLASSROOM DILEMMA: click here to help me decide Moksha’s best heading.

“Capt. Pooby”, my feathered friend that spent last night on the rear deck was gone by this morning. His only price for standing guard over me during my first lonely night alone at sea – a large pile of droppings on the main solar panel. Now I know why they call it the ‘Poop’ deck!”

**Tim-Link to Classroom Expedition
**CD: Help me make the best decision for Moksha’s heading:
#1. Study the winds and currents for the ocean region Moksha is in and decide which heading I should pedal at to avoid taken too far north by the current:
A: 180 degrees?
B: 225 degrees?
C: 270 degrees?

#2. Would it be better to put out the sea anchor tonight while I am asleep or just drift with the easterly wind to avoid getting taken north by the current?

Please give reasons to both answers.

Posted on May 7, 1999 9:03 PM