Monday, November 5, 2-007 - Day 3 of Passage: Continued Good Sailing
05 November 2007 | En Route from Fiji to New Zealand
"Hard on the wind", "beating to weather", "bashing to windward". They all mean the same thing - sailing as close as possible to the wind. This usually entails crashing into waves and taking green water over the bow while making little progress toward one's destination. Tradewind sailing in the tropics generally means downwind sleigh rides and that is mostly what I have experienced for the past seven months. True gentlemen avoid sailing to windward, but sometimes it is necessary, as in the passage to New Zealand. Fortunately for us, the wind has been moderate, the seas calm and the course somewhat less than hard on the wind. The sailing has been very comfortable and fast.
The noon-to-noon distance for today was 140 miles for an average speed of 5.8 knots. We have covered 387 miles out of an 1100 mile passage so we are a little better than 1/3 rd of the way there. The weather forecast is good for the next three days. After that we may see heavy winds "on the nose" for a couple of days before making landfall. Most of the talk on the radio nets is about weather and there is a lot of talk. My guess is there are at least 50 boats now making the passage from the tropics to New Zealand and each one has an opinion and a strategy. I listen to the seasoned Kiwis who make this trip twice a year, year after year. The Kiwis, however, are no strangers to brutal weather and tough conditions. They are a hardy bunch.
All else is well onboard. No fish today.