Going As Fast As We Can
14 November 2012 | Outbound Tonga - Inbound New Zealand
Day 4 - 136 nautical miles. 730 miles from here to Opua, New Zealand, as the crow flies. Of course we can't just sail a straight line there. Our course will zig and zag depending on which way the wind is blowing and what we think is in the future based on grib files, weather reports from the experts at Russell Radio, NZ, and position reports from fellow cruisers in the area. Currently about 30 boats are out here all on their way to Opua! So we've got something like 800+ miles to go. I'd like to be there by Thanksgiving. What date that is in New Zealand is a guess because we've just crossed the dateline and there's a bit of confusion over the UTC times as will. Suffice it to say I'm hoping we'll be there in 7-8 days. Lately we've been sailing southwest, riding along the top edge of a high pressure system. It is great sailing right now. We've got 15 knots from the southeast and our current heading is 210 degrees. Happily, there's not much swell either. We've got a lot of sail up because if ever there was a time to go as fast as possible it's right now. The longer you're out in this southern ocean the more chance you have that something will go wrong or some weather system will pop up and pop you! These high pressure systems go in a anti-clockwise circular motion. Problem is we've got to be heading a bit more south now and that might put us in the middle of the high where there's less wind. I KNOW, it's a lot of thinking all the time and I'm ready for a break from watching the weather. But not now, it's super important right now to get it right or you could get your head handed to you on a platter by Mother Nature. Sometimes she's kind and sometime she ain't. (You other cruisers reading this - you know what I mean!) A few side notes before I close...as we sail along there's lots of pumice floating by in the water. Areas of little pieces and some that are the size of an apple or orange. Proof again of what a volcanic area this is. Because of this, it's important to keep an eye on your water strainer going into the boat and keep it clean. One more job for Donald, as if he doesn't have enough to do as it is. Also, after being out here for over 4 days now, getting enough sleep becomes super important. We're doing 3 hour watches at night which seems to be working OK. But during the day, like right now typing this, my eyelids are drooping and I could lay down for another nap...I just got up!