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S/V Tender Spirit: Ocean Cruising
Join us as we cruise amongst the Islands of the South Pacific with plans.....what plans?
Racing the Weather
Joan
11/02/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

We have had another great day of sailing. We are now on a race with some bad weather heading in our direction. We are 60 miles out and hope to make landfall in the middle of the night. We hate night arrivals, but we don't want to get caught in this weather system. A large pod of porpoises have been visiting today. That's been quite entertaining. We are also in visual contact with S/B Sidewinder, a vessel we met two years ago. We are looking forward to sharing the quarantine dock with them!

2011-New Zealand Part II
Beautiful Sailing
Joan
11/01/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

Just before sunset, last night, we had a beautiful rainbow that would please any pot of gold seeker. To make this sign of good luck even better was the albatross that soared in circles in the middle. This sure was an amazing sight! The wind was light all night, beautiful calm seas, and then the fog came. I haven't seen fog in a long time. It sure made for an interesting halo for the crescent moon that I could see through the thin fog layer. The wind picked up this morning and we had some stellar sailing. Lovely 15 knot wind was just forward the beam. We are still enjoying SW 18 knot wind with SW 2 meter seas. We have been averaging 6 knots most of the day. We are now 198 miles out of Opua. All is just fine on board.

2011-New Zealand Part II
Nice Day!
Joan
10/31/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

The sun is shining once again. The winds are down, N at 10 knots. Seas are N at 2 meters. We are 295 miles from Opua. We are looking at landfall in about 3 days. We saw porpoises today. One was huge, laying on its side looking up at us. That was awesome. We are doing well, and getting a few things dried out and looking forward to the light winds on the horizon. Ok, I hope they aren't too light so we can sail at a decent speed.

2011-New Zealand Part II
Calmer Seas
Joan
10/30/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

Well, we were able to start sailing again around midnight last night. The seas today have been in the 15 knot range. The seas have slowly started to diminish. We have left-over swells in the 3.5-3 meter range. Hopefully this front will be behind us by tomorrow and we will have some nice sailing weather for the remainder of our passage. We have about 400 miles to go. All is fine and dandy on board once again!

2011-New Zealand Part II
Flying White Foam!
Joan
10/30/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

The foam was sure flying around today. We are hove to waiting for seas to calm down a bit. We had about two hours of sustained 45knot winds. Our highest gust that I saw one the meter was 51.1. The seas were just plain huge with serious streaks and foam flying around. Definitely breathtaking, but not in quite the "I want to stay and take photos" way. I did try to get some photos after it started calming down. I got splashed and water poured down the companion way. I think I broke the camera. It is soaked. I expect the seas were well over the 15 foot range. Now the wind has calmed down to about 26-28 knots with gusts to 34. The wind is supposed to shift to the NE. Naturally, we haven't made much progress. We have about 480 miles to go. We should be on our way again by morning. Other than that, all is well on board. Believe it or not, nothing broke...that we know of. We are both very happy to be on Tender Spirit. She continues to prover herself to be a worthy blue-water vessel.

2011-New Zealand Part II
Splash of Reality
Joan
10/29/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

About the time I think all is nice, and we are doing just fine, maybe feeling a bit of an ego because we've managed to keep the boat moving well, I saw a big ole splash from a wave come out of the black night and right in my face and then down the companionway. I was soaked, and uttered some old fashioned sailor spiced words not meant for "family hour". I guess King Neptune is keeping me humble. The good news is that very little water actually went down below, most, just down the inside of my foulies...I am feeling humble and chilly now!

The wind is slowing us down. We are deeply reefed and comfy. The wind is in the 25 knot range but gusting wildly and a bit unpredictable. We are expecting some lighter wind in the next 24 hours along with a wind shift.

2011-New Zealand Part II
Zipping Along
Joan
10/27/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

We are moving nicely along today. The wind has increased 20-25 out of the East. Seas are 3 meters. We are averaging 5.5 knots, and not wasting any time. We traveled 134 miles in the last 24 hours, and we now have 654 miles to go. All is well on board.

2011-New Zealand Part II
Company!
Joan
10/26/2011, Off shore: Destination New Zealand

We've had company for the last 24 hours. S/V This Side Up, whom we met in Suva, has been traveling with us. We got a visual on her yesterday and continue to have a visual on her now. I expect that by tomorrow she will slip off the horizon. We even have a second sailboat off our stern this afternoon. We don't know who they are. It's nice having company! We are continuing to have a fast passage. We covered 134 miles in the last 24 hours. We have 788 miles to go. The wind has dropped to ESE15 knots. We are presently traveling at 5.0 knots. The seas have laid down a bit, down to 1.5 meters.

2011-New Zealand Part II

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Adventures of Tender Spirit
Who: Joan & Chuck
Port: Sitka, Alaska
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