January 20, 2013 5:30PM local (Jan 21 0430UTC)
Position: 10°33'S 165°53'W
360 out of Pago with 480nm to Penrhyn Atoll (near 08°57'S 158°03'W)
We left Pago Pago, American Samoa on Friday with two major motivations. First, we'd simply had more than enough of American Samoa experience, but I'll park that topic for now as it could be two chapters in an E-book. Second, it looked like American Samoa was going to get slammed by a Tropical Cyclone and if we hurried we could get out of the way before it arrived. We'd been looking at the NOAA GRIB model weather and other sources and just couldn't bear to just sit there in Pago Pago and let a storm potentially destroy our boat when we so badly wanted to leave anyway.
So now flash forward three days and we're 360nm out of Pago on Monday January 21 at 0430UTC 10°33'S 165°53'W and we're running before a 25 knot breeze on a course of 55T. The last 30nm we've averaged 8.8 knots which makes us happy, even if the 3+ meter swells are a little bumpy. It taken us 2 days to regain our sea legs after sitting in Pago Pago for 2 months eating too many cheese burgers on terra firma.
It now looks like our amateur weather forecast was pretty much correct and a Tropical Cyclone (TC) is pretty certain to form. The good news is it looks like it's going to veer North of American Samoa giving them a pass, but then intensify to a TC and track East not SE as we previously thought. The bad news is that the storm is more or less following us and as it get's closer it begins to pack a real punch carrying strong winds across many hundreds of miles of ocean. So, again we are happy to be moving quickly to the NE and we sure hope that storm decides to give us a break and track to the South a bit.
Very much looking forward to the prospect of anchoring at Penrhyn Atoll, a three week visit in 2006 was filled with memorable experiences and true Polynesian hospitality.
That's it for now.
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