Well we're still rolling down here in the Southern South Pacific Ocean! All is well, and we are really making great progress. Day three was 197 miles and as of this evening, 6pm Wednesday, we are at 670 miles down on a 1150 mile approximate journey. The seas came up last night, but have settled down again and we have a full main and jib up in a consistent 14-16 knots of wind, and we are flying along comfortably. We usually plan our trips with 150 nautical mile day averages, and for the Pacific crossing we averaged 6.9 knots for the entire distance, but now we are trucking along at 8-9 knots easily (192+ mile days) and even making crepes for the kids! So far so good, and we think the wind will hold favorably for at least another 24 hours, at which point will get lighter and come farther aft.
Ahead of us, there still is a small weather front forecasted to come in on Saturday evening in Opua, and with it some increased winds and rain. We are trying to do what we can to make it in to port before it, possibly changing our landfall to Opua instead of Whangerei, as our marina spot wont open up until December 1st anyway. We join two radio roll calls each day, the Pacific Seafarers Net and the Gulf Harbor net, and both give us something to do, other voices to hear and a nice comfort that someone is taking down our location and can be of help if need be. There are quite a few boats that are headed to NZ in this window from Tonga, Fiji and New Caledonia. The Gulf Harbor Net is especially useful as David gives fantastic weather information and can give you advice localized to where you currently are. In their opinion, this has been the best weather window for NZ crossings all season- which is a cool relief. I know behind us Fiji is getting hammered by some wind and rain and I hope Shine is tucked away somewhere safe with a nice cup of tea and a movie.
Socks! Hats! What weird inventions from cold weather people! We have dug out socks for this first time in 13 months and are refamiliarizing ourselves with their usefulness as we head more to the South Pole and it certainly is getting colder as well. Its not bad at all, but you definitely notice this isnt the tropics anymore. Inside the boat it stays nice and warm so far, but the watches are getting chilly.
Otherwise we are just going about our passage lounging. Its too bouncy for schooling, so movies, music, games, light reading, drawing, crafting are all on the agenda. George continues to amaze me with his patience for the young girls, as he's regularly involved in games of Speed and others. Our various laptops are putting the hard drive movie collections to work and we also catch up on sleep whenever we're tired so that we can manage the night watches.
There isnt much to watch for, as there hasnt been a boat on any part of the horizon since we left Fiji, but we keep an eye on wind and weather changes, and boat behavior. We hit a new swell last night and the converging ocean swells had us ploughing through a washing machine. We eventually made it through enough of it that it calmed down and today you can really sea the power and vastness of a REAL ocean swell. These swells come up from deep depressions in the Southern Arctic Ocean and they consume the whole horizon, making it pulsate up and down every 10-12 seconds in a slow but incredibly powerful movement of water. Thankfully they are far apart and Family Circus happily rides up and down them like a champ, probably thankful for a change of pace. Its also an awesome reminder of the power of these oceans and nature- you feel really quite small in our little home, cruising along as a thankful guest.
Well that's probably it for now- we're heating up chili and have made rice for dinner and will bid you adieu until we chat again. Sota Ta-le CHRIS
If you want to see our exact position please check the www.yit.co.nz website, and look for our name either on the lower right or left.
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