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Well, it’s been a rough passage, but hopefully that is behind us. Today the wind calmed down significantly! In fact, it’s near perfect sailing weather. The winds are still ahead of the beam, at about 70 degrees to our port. But, instead of being 20-26 knots, the winds are between 10 –
18 knots. At this speed, we have both our full main and full genoa up and MAN we can fly! Of course it’s all relative. We are reaching between 9-10 knots when the wind is around 15 knots, but then I just heard on The Sailing Rhode podcast about a guy who sailed (I think) the northwest passage on a performance trimaran at 460 knots a day! Yowza.
With the wind calming, the waves have calmed down too, and the passage is much nicer now. I’ve got my giddyup again! Since it’s calmed down and my seasickness has lessened, I’m going to bake us a special treat for Thanksgiving tomorrow – brownies! Sadly, that’s our only observation for the holiday, since, uh, I’m sure a whole turkey is hard to come by anywhere in the world except for the states. Nevermind the fact that my oven won’t fit a turkey!
It’s hard to believe that for Turkey Day last year we were on the hard in Nanny Cay having dinner at the marina, and the year before that we were in La Rochelle!
We’ve heard from a few of our friends who are already in NZ, and while some have moved on past Opua already, it looks like we will get to see Margansie and Quixotic when we arrive. We’ve decided to do something we hardly ever do – come into port at night. Opua is well marked and lit, and we know exactly where we are going – the quarantine dock.
With the speed we are going, it’s most likely that we will arrive sometime late Friday evening. The wind is forecasted to shift to come from the north, but not increase, so with winds coming right behind us this light we may be forced to motor. There is a system rolling through northern NZ Friday afternoon and evening, which may bring rain, but will bring slightly stronger winds to give us a last push into Opua.
Since I’ve been a bit seasick I haven’t been reading at all, which is so strange for me! David’s been working on our videos and on another passage we did, about this length, I had read a dozen books by the end! That is not the case here – I checked out 8 books from the library before we left Fiji but they are being neglected. This also means I’ve been using music nonstop as entertainment, and I’m in need of some new tunes! I haven’t updated podcasts in a long time, something I’m looking forward to doing in the states when we get some unlimited wifi.
New Zealand border patrol is really strict about foods you can and can not bring into NZ. I gave away a few items before we left Fiji, but we are running pretty bare in our cupboard – which is a good thing! I’d like to have an empty freezer when we clear in, and once we leave SH high and dry on the hard we will need to have an empty fridge too. I know for sure they’ll take away honey and non-commercially packaged meats. We will see what else I have to part with.
My goodness, it’s getting COLD too! We are both wearing pants and t-shirts now, with a fleece jacket at night. If we are sitting at the helm at night, we have a designated salt blanket – which I’m going to have to wash when we arrive! We’ve also pulled out the blankets for our beds, and are no longer sleeping with the fans on. I’d love to be wearing my slippers around the boat, but like everything cloth that’s not used regularly, they are moldy. Plus, I don’t want them dragging salt everywhere!
We know there are other boats out and around somewhere – two boats cleared out of Vuda bound for Opua the same day we did – but we haven’t seen any other sail boats. However, last night we had to adjust course to avoid a ship named Forte – they passed 1.5 nm from us. I say plenty of room, David says pretty damn close for the middle of the ocean.
I just did our 10 pm log, and in the last 3 hours we’ve averaged 8.66 knots. If the wind kept up for 24 hours that’s almost 208 nm a day.
Ah well, it’s the journey, not the destination, right? I think that sounds better when you look at the big picture; it’s not a circumnavigation, it’s all the stops along the way. The open ocean is a little less interesting!