05/02/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji
We traveled 134 miles in the last 24 hours. Our current position is 32 25's, 175 53'E traveling on a course of 011, speed,5.5 knots. Weather is high overcast, light gusty, shifting winds mostly east at about 8-15 knots. we have the engine on now because between gusts, the sail is collapsing. We are very happy with our progress, and all is well on board. 940 miles to go. An albatross kept up company for quite awhile yesterday. Nothing quite perks us up more than watching those giant birds gliding so effortlessly. No flying fish yet. It is still cold, but as we head north, it will start to warm up. Pearl is starting to get her sea legs. She has a harder time jumping around the boat right now, but she is quick to wag the tail, and ready to play. We sure are happy to have her on board! She takes permanent watch snuggled up with whoever is napping.
Heaps of wind!Joan
05/01/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji
the wind has been keeping us busy in the last 24 hours! Its been in the 25-35 knot range. We are moving along at a great pace and have traveled 130 miles in the last 24 hours. It's a sloppy ride. We gybed...accidentally, and broke the eye bolt on the first reef. When the wind slows down a bit, we will replace it and be good to go. For right now, we don't need the main up and still have the 2nd reef to use. About eleven last night I looked down and saw a hose clamp....broken in the bottom of the cockpit. I just cleaned it out, but thought that it may have been left over from the mechanics last week. Well, an hour later, I hear something fall....two more hose clamps, and now the wheel assembly for the wind vane steering is rattling around....all the hose clamps had sheared off! So Chuck and I spent the next two hours weaving new hose clamps in and attaching it back on. It was quite the adventure because of course we are also steering, and it's blowing 30 knots, so it was quite the comedy show in the middle of the night, trying to get it back together. It's fixed and working just fine. Other than a couple minor repairs, all is going well. We are making good speed, and hopefully this will be a quick passage!
Left New ZealandJoan
04/30/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji
We checked out this morning with customs, bid goodbye to New Zealand, and headed off shore. We are making a nice speed, averaging a bit over 6 knots. The wind is boisterous in the 28-32 knot range. All is well on board and we are settling quite nicely. A pod of porpoises joined us for quite some time, bidding us farewell. The rain has tapered off, and now we are looking forward to some warmer temperatures. This passage is about 1100 nautical miles, so we should arrive in about 11 days or so depending on the weather conditions.
Arrived at Marsden CoveJoan
04/29/2010, Marsden Cove, New Zealand
We are at Marsden Cove now. All we have left is to check out with customs in the morning. We will be sad to put the long white cloud in our wake, but very excited about cruising around Fiji! Marsden Cove Marina is a nice spot, but far away from town, so it is just a nice place to rest and finish last minute preparations. There is a fuel dock here, but it is 100% automated and decided it wouldn't accept any of our cards. So if you are heading this way, be sure to either get fuel at Town Basin, or have some New Zealand cash to hopefully trade with a local person with a card that works! We did this, and some trading using US dollars with another cruiser.
Last Minute PerparationsJoan
04/28/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand
We are finishing up getting the boat ready for the passage to Fiji. We have just some last minute chores and the stowing of provisions. It's hard to believe that we are already leaving New Zealand. We sure have enjoyed our stay here. The People are very special here and we will be leaving with an intention of returning down the road to explore more of the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Out of the Yard, and in the Water!04/26/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand
We are finally back in the water after a bit of a delay as we had to wait for boat bits to arrive from Australia. The engine is now ready for another year of cruising.
Short Delay04/08/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand
As expected there are always a few surprises in the boatyard, both good and bad. We finally got the last through-hull moving. We had resigned ourselves to replacing it, but thankfully, it is now good to go. The work we did on the bottom last year (filled a few blisters, and a new barrier coat) really turned out great. The hull is looking better than ever! This year we added a silicone coating called "Speed Prop" to our propeller. The Kiwis we've talked to love it because is keeps the propeller clear of "critters" for multiple seasons. Our engine needs some work done on the exhaust system and it was discovered that we have some loose engine mounts!! So work on this will happen next week. Other than that, all is looking great for another year of cruising. We are still on track for our Fiji passage, we will just spend less time going north to Opua than planned.
On the HardJoan
04/06/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand
We are busy finishing last minute tasks out of the water in the boatyard. This is not my favorite "cruising destination", but an important annual event for us. We now have fresh bottom paint and zincs. I'm going through all the sea cocks. I have only one that seems to be stubborn. Hopefully it will cooperate tomorrow! We are also in the process of replacing our steering cable, and doing some engine maintenance while we have access to a great Yanmar/Volvo shop. We fired up the generator, and sure enough, something isn't working quite right. I suspect old fuel or dirty fuel may be the culprit. That will hopefully be remedied tomorrow.
Adventures of Tender Spirit