04/30/2013, Opua marina
Tomorrow is the big day! Everything ready - shaft alignment checked and all good, water tanks cleaned and filled, diesel tanks full (so much so that the boat is leaning to starboard). We have our duty free meat in the freezer and the booze scurried away in all sorts of places.
The weather looks mild - plenty motor sailing except for a bit of a blow on Saturday and 3 m swells (but for only one day). We have Bob McDavitt providing us with a voyage forecast so that is sure to help.
We should be at South or North Minerva reef on the 8th of May all going well - we hope to have more time there this passage, and perhaps even snare a few crayfish!
Now to take those sea sick pills, and then a good night last sleep on a level surface (with a very slight tilt due to diesel - ha ha !).
04/23/2013, Hahangarua Bay
Left at 6.30am and had an enjoyable sail and motor sail over the day. So good that we decided to do an overnight passage to the Bay of Islands. The night was gorgeous - nearly full moon, starry sky, and the gentle whoosh of the swells. Made our way into Oke Bay at 2.30am - visibility was great with the moon. Anchor down, showers and bed.
But a rolly night - lots of swells in the bay so not the best sleep.
The morning was stunning - blue skies, clear water and a pod of dolphins arrived. Headed straight for our boat as if to say Hello and Welcome back! They circled the boat and then headed to shore where the baby dolphins did all sorts of acrobatics.
Pulled anchor to find a more settled bay and now in Hahangarua Bay where it is nice and calm. Tomorrow we head to Opua marina where all the final preparations and festivities begin.
04/22/2013, Christian Bay
Woke up at 2am with a change in the weather. Boat bouncing a little and then thunder and lightning in the distance. Up at 6am for an early start to race the chance of developing thunderstorms in the afternoon. Neil checking the alternator and then a yell from him and a smell of smoke! It was the relays shorting out the diodes (insufficient capacity for the super duper high output alternator and they melted in front of his eyes!). Very fortunate it didn't develop into a fire as that is one of the worst things that cold happen on a boat.
Otherwise had a Very pleasant motor sail to Christian Bay and anchored in time for lunch.
Neil went fishing and caught two good size snapper. And then had a very pleasant visit from Pam and Ross of s/v Vixen7. They live nearby and drove to our anchorage where Neil collected them on the dinghy. Enjoyed some reminiscing and they gave us some great ideas for places to visit in Fiji.
04/20/2013, Te Haruhi Bay, Whangaparoa Peninsula
Finally our adventure begins! We got up early this morning, excited to be finally on our way. Had a few hiccups to start - the smart charger on the alternator wasn't doing its thing. Neil says the field windings weren't getting excited! But after a quick call to the supplier got it all sorted thank goodness.
So off we went - straight into a strong northerly (exactly the direction we were going), so not too pleasant. Managed to sail as we rounded Motutapu island and got a reasonable pace between 5 and 5.5 knots. But lots of spray and water everywhere and the boat felt very jumpy (maybe so happy to be out of the marina at last!).
Decided not to push it to Kawau island and instead anchored off Whangaparoa peninsula at about 2pm. The weather forecast looks a little more favourable tomorrow so hopefully that will make for more pleasant sailing.
Really struggling to load photo from my camera roll on the ipad to the blog - they all turn upside down! Any other bloggers got any solutions?
Things have been pretty hectic lately. Lots going on - new rigging complete, new house batteries, liferaft inspected and back on the boat, drogue rope sorted, and Neil is working on a hatch latch for the washboards (so that if by chance the boat does a 360 degree tumble we won't have water pouring in!).
All the dry stores are on the boat and we should have food to last us six months.
In the meantime I have been slowly packing up the house in between the rental agent dragging hundreds of couples through - a real irritation! And to crown it all some drunken vandals offloaded billions of polystyrene balls (probably from a large beanbag) all over the lawn - looked like snow! Unfortunately I have had to painstackingly pick it all up with a brush and pan!
Wednesday the boat is hauled out so the Cat 1 inspector can check the rudder and keel, and for the shaft seal to be replaced. Then all is left is the final Cat 1 inspection (a requirement for New Zealand boats before they can head offshore)
Can't wait for Saturday when all the furniture is back in storage and we are back on the boat full time!
This is a remote blog test to Facebook. Hopefully it will appear there.