Showing posts from November, 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 birthda

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 un

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

Teachable Moments in Tonga

Walking along the streets of Niefu in Tonga, we stumbled upon a tiny building that was plopped down right in front of the Post Office with a sign out front that read “Library”.   My interest was piqued, and the kids rolled their eyes as I dragged them into yet another island library.   The running joke is that when we get to a new place, Dad always looks for the Wi-fi cafĂ© and Mom always wants to find the library.   Yes, I admit, I’m a total book geek.   And although I’m slowly learning to tolerate reading on my kindle in order to enjoy current books, there is nothing that fills my soul and ignites my senses like the musty smell of a good, old, yellowed paperback.   I especially treasure the ones I find in which someone has scribbled notes into the margins, dog-eared pages, and underlined favorite parts.   It makes me feel like I’m part of a timeless, universal book club.   I could spend hours perusing through the crowded shelves, glancing through worn-paged books, imagining that