|Squall line en route to Suwarrow Atoll|
|Leaving Rarotonga with the Needle in view|
|Rain squall on the way to Palmerston Atoll|
|Approaching Palmerston Island|
|Palmerston Island as viewed from the anchorage on the other side of the reef|
|Southwest shore of Palmerston Island|
|Wild Fox rounding the south reef on its approach to Palmerston Island|
But when the wind shifts to the west, Palmerston's life-giving reef becomes a menacing lee shore. Indeed, a visit to the island is a sobering reminder of this fact, as one of the first things a visitor confronts upon landing is the husk of what was formerly the proud sailing yacht "Ri Ri" out of Philadelphia, PA, still exhibiting her patriotic colors of red, white, and blue. Ri Ri chafed through her mooring line in 2011 and was smashed on the reef. Parts of the shipwreck are scattered all over the island, but the remains of Ri Ri's hull---and one couple's American Dream---lie at the edge of the motu, where they were dragged ashore after being battered on the reef. A report from other cruisers who were in the anchorage at the time tells us that thankfully, the couple themselves escaped unharmed. (See Don Quixote's report on p. 47 in the Cook Islands Compendium.) The same report stresses the wisdom of using two mooring lines to tie to a mooring (in Ri Ri's case it was the eye of the mooring that chafed through, not their single mooring line) and of adding a safety line below the eye using a rolling hitch.
|Part of Ri Ri's cabin top lying under pandanus trees|
|Forward section from Ri Ri|
|The Death of Wind|
Finally, we are clearly back in the tropics. The hatch in the incident described above was partially open because the heat in the cabin is stifling. We live in a state of constant sweat and partial undress, and it is warm enough to take solar showers in the cockpit. Ahh, solar showers! How I've missed them!
Posted from sea via Ham Radio.