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Showing posts from November, 2015

Bittersweet

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Author: Mark
Date: Nov 27, 1:00am NZT
Location: 34 15 S - 175 38 E
Conditions: 6-8ts @ 160 TWA, 228T COG, 5.3 kts AVG SOG, flat seas
24 HR Avg: 145 NM (We are tracking 1pm - 1pm)

The big news today was our double hookup of tuna! Around 8.30am we heard the lines go zing, and knew we had two good sized fish on the line. We've had fish on the line virtually every day of our sail...but have been less fortunate on getting them 'on the boat'. This time was different. We managed to land both fish. It took about an hour to clean and prep the fish for the fridge (yes Sarah, I did double bag each batch...grin). Everyone was thrilled to have fresh fish for the finally into Opua. We had seared tuna for lunch and a full spread of sashimi for dinner. It was excellent. Pics of the fish are posted on Facebook.

The closer we get to Opua, the slower we've been moving. We've been battling a lot of current today on the nose. Presently we have about .5-.75kts against us wit…

Iron Sails

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Author: Mark
Date: Nov 26, 12:50am NZT
Location: 32 19 S - 176 53 E
Conditions: 8-10ts @ 165 TWA, 212T COG, 6.2 kts AVG SOG, 1.0m swell
24 HR Avg: 156 NM (We are tracking 1pm - 1pm)

We had a good, uneventful day. The biggest struggle aboard is the need to use our engines. We've been motor sailing most of the day with winds variable, light and sometimes non-existent. Overall it's better to have calm conditions than getting whacked with a low passing over New Zealand, but it is still frustrating to use engines. If we were not racing against the arrival of a small low on Saturday, we'd truck along at 4-5kts under sail...but the luxury of the wind and only wind driving us to a destination south of 30 degrees can be foolish with potentially strong and dangerous weather systems ripping across these low latitudes. Last week the low over New Zealand brought 50kts, lighting, rain and hellish conditions on the water....so engine propulsion is the order of the day!

To keep ourse…

In the Groove

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Author: Mark
Date: Nov 25, 2:00am NZT
Location: 30 18 S - 178 13 E
Conditions: 11-13ts @ 130 TWA, 185T COG, 6.7 kts AVG SOG, 1.0m swell
24 HR Avg: 168 NM (We are tracking 1pm - 1pm)

Well, we knew it would happen and it did. The winds have died down significantly. In fact, for six hours (6pm - midnight) we had virtually no wind and motor sailed. Arg. I really hate flicking on the engines, but we did. We are targeting arrival by Friday. If we don't keep the boat moving we will push into Friday night and risk getting hit by the low moving over the North Island Saturday.

We received a couple of questions regarding our sail configuration during this trip. We've been using our mainsail with our new North Sails Code Zero. The Code Zero (not to be confused with the 'Screecher') is our newest sail aboard Field Trip. It is 30% larger than our old North Sails Screecher. This new sail is a significant improvement over the previous sail. Burns (sail designer for Team NZ …
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Author: Mark
Date: Nov 24, 1:45am NZT
Location: 27 57 S - 178 57 E
Conditions: 14-16ts @ 130 TWA, 185T COG, 8.45 kts AVG SOG, 1.5m swell

We wrapped up a very good day today. The winds and sea state have been very kind, and we logged 184NM in 24 hours. Overall a good day for Field Trip and crew. James is getting used to the bumping under his berth that occurs with the waves slapping at higher speed. While the sea state and boat motion are comfortable, moving along at bursts of 10+kts can create some noise. I told James this morning that if Sarah was aboard, she would let me know that I needed to slow down the boat....grin.

Every morning we listen to Gulf Harbor Radio, a HF net out of New Zealand dedicated to yachts sailing to and from NZ during the sailing season. This is the last week GHR is on the air, before taking their summer break. According to GHR there are 28 yachts taking this weather window south. That's a lot of boats out here sailing in the same general directio…

Roaring South

Author: Mark
Date: Nov 23, 1:30am NZT
Location: 25 03 S - 179 59 W
Conditions: 16-18ts @ 135 TWA, 210T COG, 8.3kts AVG SOG, 2m swell with 8s period

There's a lot to get everyone caught up on regarding our trip from Fiji to New Zealand. I've been delinquent on updates so far with our trip. I promise, I'll do daily updates until our arrival to New Zealand!

We've been having a great time. Onboard we have James Garbacz and Carlos Diaz. James is the husband of my business partner Laura and Carlos is a good friend and sailor from Argentina. Reminiscent of last year's trip, the crew arrived to Port Denarau, Fiji - with the expectations that we would be patient for weather, and leave when it was time to go. My hope - find a window that we could stomach to sail SE 420 NM to Minerva Reef. This is not an easy request as the trade winds typically come from this same direction. It was a long shot, and we were not holding out hopes.

We began by a brisk provisioning the …

A Warm Fulaga Welcome

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The anchor was dropped, celebratory drinks were cracked open, and we let the beauty and peacefulness of Fulaga soak in before fulfilling our island obligation - the sevu sevu(sayvoo sayvoo) ceremony.  We pulled our traditional Fiji ceremonial duds out of the closet once again, and grabbed a bundle of kava to present to the chief.  Going ashore here required a bit of planning and scheduling.  At low tide, the dinghy would be beached.  If we anchored further out, though, someone would be swimming to get to it at high tide!  We do have wheels on our dinghy now, which make it easier to roll back into the water, but our friends, Wanda and Theo, didn’t.   Aliforeti, our passenger who hitched a ride with us from Nadi, had a simple solution!  He picked up Theo in his outrigger canoe and ferried him back to shore. Meanwhile, the rest of us did the ‘Mosquito Mambo’ on the beach as the little suckers viciously attacked their new visitors.  
It was a hike to the village, but beautiful.We passed c…