Monday, November 17, 2014

72 Hours

Author: Mark
Date: Nov 17, 11:30am NZT
Location: 24 51 S - 175 18 E
Conditions: 5-7ts @ 180T, 190T COG, 6.2kts SOG, 1.0m swell with 10s period, 1017.6 barometer

It's been 72 hours sine we left Fiji. Wow, how things have changed. We knew we would get our butts kicked the first two days with heavy swell and sea. I can report that our expectations were met. It wasn't as rough as we have seen in the past. We've just not done a lot of upwind sailing since leaving Grenada. We are spoiled rotten!

It's now dead calm. Flat seas, mild swell from south and sunny skies. Needless to say everyone is very relaxed. The big news is Neil has been promoted to chef. He cooked dinner last night and it was excellent. We almost broke out the candles and a little mood music from Air Supply.

The forecast looks a lot of the same. Light winds (<10kts) most of the way to Opua with some clocking and a mild frontal system arriving tomorrow.

Tonight is my special birthday party planned by Neil and Warren….hmmm….could get ugly. More tomorrow….

Saturday, November 15, 2014

24 Hours

Author: Mark
Date: Nov 15, 4:30pm NZT
Location: 20 34 S - 175 47 E
Conditions: 16-18ts @ 70T, 190T COG, 7.8kts SOG, 2.5m swell with 11s period

We left yesterday from Fiji to New Zealand. We're off to a good start. Within 30 minutes of leaving our anchorage we landed a nice size Mackerel. Neil was quick to reel the fish in and get it fileted. It's Mackerel from dinner tonight!

The passage so far has been generally uneventful. The seas kicked up overnight to swells of 3m+, but that was relatively sort lived. We are in the process if getting everyone settled into our routine - so far so good.

The meals have been great since Sarah pre-made most of our dinners. All the boys have to do is "heat and eat". In a way Sarah is still here with us…even though I'm sure she's glad to be in Auckland vs. beating south 1,000NM to New Zealand…grin.

The biggest issue we've had so far is securing our fuel cans. The seas have been rather heavy, and we unfortunately had four of our diesel cans slide off the side on the deck. One spilled 10L of diesel on deck at 10pm last night. I was out mopping up diesel as Warren and Neil helped clean off the jugs with soap and water in 20kts of wind. Ugly. Otherwise, we are doing great and really enjoying the connectivity of our Iridium Go. It's GREAT. Sarah and I have been texting each other and sharing photos over our dedicated connection. While not fast, it's nice having a WiFi hotspot on the boat connected to friends and family 24/7.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bula Fiji!

We’re off to New Zealand tomorrow! It's been one heck of a wait - almost 10 days since the crew arrived before we’re actually leaving Fiji. Admittedly, there are worst places to be delayed. Neil and Warren worked hard to make sure it was time well spent and we had a great time.

Our fourth crew member - Bryan Suthard ended having to fly home and could not make the trip.  The 10 day delay is very difficult to manage when you have airline tickets, families, and friends waiting for you at the end of the trip.  It's not easy waiting, but you must, if you want to have as safe and comfortable passage.

Waiting for a weather window
View from boat as we paddled down river
Still waiting for weather window...
We have 1,100NM to sail to Opua, New Zealand. This passage can be challenging. We're using Bob McDavitt to do our weather routing, and have a couple of new toys we are using for the trip.

This is an overview of the trip prepared by Bob. As you can see, we should overall have favorable conditions, and are avoiding any significant low pressure systems (at least that is the forecast for the next week).

We are also excited about our new install of the Iridium Go! on our boat.  Neil brought this down and Bryan and I installed while we were in Denarau, Fiji.  This gives us unlimited data, SMS, phone and tracking in one small package.  It also sets up a hotspot so we can check mail and weather on our iPad or iPhone over the satellite network.  

You can view our new tracking site at the top of our blog and at this link.  You can zoom in and see our route, course and speed.  We have set the updates to occur every hour while sailing.  PredictWind is the provider of the website and they are working on fixing the BoatSpeed this seems not to be working at this point.  Regardless, you can now actively follow our travels in near 'real time' as we sail.  Pretty cool stuff. :)

Well, that's it for now.  We will be posting FaceBook and Blog updates while traveling.  Once we get 350NM south of Fiji, our KVH V3 Broadband internet will be working (finally!) and that will help with photos and pictures.

Until then, we are heading south for some real changes in latitude....brrr......

STILL WAITING............. :-)

And STILL waiting.......... :) :)