Passage from New Zealand to New Caledonia
21 April 2013 | Noumea
On Monday 1st 2013, - April fools day Carinthia was ready for another year of voyaging
- well almost ready - if your boat project list has less than 12 tasks you need to cut the lines and head out.
Kurt and Jacques had joined for the 1,000 nm passage to Noumea and on the way up to Opua from Auckland
I decided my batteries needed replacing - they where just getting too old after 5 years of heavy use so I took one
last trip to Silverdale and swapped my trusted Trojan deep cycle AGM 2 batteries for something new - 800 Amp Hours
of Lithium Polymer Iron Phosphate batteries 2 units which combined only weigh as much as 3 of my 8 AGM's and a promise to
outlive me if I take care of them.
At the last party on the dock the conversations with fellow yachties including a technical write Volker from Segelen Magazine in Germany
went over the pro's and con's of that decision - but primarily we focused on the weather and there was a weather window -
Both gribs, weatherfax and buyowetaher showed calm winds for the first 2 days with a warm front going through our course on day 3 followed by nothing but trade winds from the SE in the 15 - 25 knot range . the sea state decidedly from the SW as the good old Tasman sea is always there to remind you of the challenges facing sailors
leaving and or sailing to New Zealand.
So I sat down with my first Mate Suzanne and informed the Admiral ( Vienna the dog ) that time had come to leave. Jacques and Kurt were ready too and after last minute provisioning of fresh veggies and taking on important fluids such as 730 litres of Diesel, 24 litres of Wine, 12 litres of Rum and 40 cans of beer - checking out with Customs we left NZ at 10.15 AM.
The sky was clear and by 7 pm we raised the sails as our course had put us passed the lee of the north island with 10 knots coming from the NE.
the first night was nice and warm with no traffic on the VHF - as Suzanne got on her watch she used the inverter to make some coffee and within a few minutes Kurt jumped out of his bunk as he smelled smoke - the new batteries delivered too much current to the inverter charge so the + wire was overheating ... luckily no damage to systems so we proceeded to not use the coffee maker or inverter for the next 7 days. Scare to smell smoke on your boat though -
By day 3 the winds had increased to 25 knots on the nose with squalls delivering up to 35 knot and we had to battle for one rough night.
As always latitude 30 was putting up a fight - but eventually we crossed it on our course to New Caledonia - The winds finally shifted and he trade winds kicked in.
so for the next 3 days we dodged squalls but basically no longer altered our course of 344 degrees true.
On Sunday April 7 we arrived on the Q dock in Port Moselle and started peeling off our salty gear.
Back in the tropics and ordering parts for the boat ...