Bittersweet

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 with virtually no apparent wind given the angle. We were hoping to arrive to Opua by noon on Friday, but it appears we are not going to arrive before 6pm. That means we will be quarantined on the boat until we clear customs on Saturday. We were all looking forward to cold beer, and lots of socializing with fellow sailors at the Yacht Club tomorrow evening. Looks like we may have to wait until Saturday night for the festivities....

As the journey winds down, I have to say it's been an excellent trip. We had a great time in Fiji, a good sail to South Minerva Reef, great diving, and a broad reach the entire way from Minerva to Opua. While I prefer more wind for a passage, a comfortable sail trumps a bashing any day. I'm excited to be back in New Zealand, but also sad to leave friends that have gone separate directions over the past couple of months. It's bittersweet as the passage winds down and we approach New Zealand.

Happy Thanksgiving to our friends and family back in the USA!

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