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 direction. I doubt however that we will see any yachts during our passage south. So far it has been just us, blue skies and vast expanses of rolling seas speckled with a few birds gliding up and down over the waves.

It's been especially fun for me to see how James has been absorbing life on the water. James has done a lot of sailing before, but never a long offshore passage. He's having a blast. He was especially thrilled tonight about the speed we've been sailing even though it is a little bumpy at times. James has the 8-12 AM/PM watch. When we had our watch change at midnight, James grinned and said he thought we were averaging 9kts on his watch. He had kept the boat close to a beam reach for speed, and was loving it. I clicked on the AVG SOG button (I reset at 6pm when I went to bed) and it read 8.8kts for the past 6 hours -- close enough James! I can see a yacht in the future for James and Laura..... :)

We've been dragging two lines today, with no fish to show for our efforts. I re-rigged the big line today after we lost two lures yesterday to two huge fish that almost spooled both lines before the lures popped off. Arg. I guess it is better to lose two lures than a full spool of line.

In the afternoon Carlos gave both James and I a detailed review of the political elections in Argentina. Having spent six months in Buenos Aires four years ago, it was fun and interesting to better understand what changes may be in store for Argentina with the newly elected government.

We expect the winds to shift later this week to the NE quadrant and die down to <10kts. Our routing models from PredictWind have us on a heading almost due south and then follow the winds on a starboard tack (we are presently on a port tack) the last 12 hours into Opua. At our current pace, we'll make the 740NM trip in about 4.5 days.


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