Reflections of our first day out
19 November 2016 | South from Tonga
We slipped loose from the mooring holding SCOOTS at lovely Port Maurelle, Tonga, at about 1 pm local time, Saturday, Nov. 19 for us. Your time will certainly vary. This would be 2300 UTC, which doesn't change, in case you want to keep track that way.
This was a good day to be following along with us virtually, instead of on board, because we had a pretty wet, raucous, and uncomfortable ride, almost from the moment we were out of the shelter of the islands. If you have a propensity to seasickness, this would have been your Waterloo, for sure. Fortunately, neither of us were affected.
SCOOTS repeatedly took hundreds of gallons on her decks - sometimes on top of the hard dodger - pounding into the waves as she beat her way into 18-23 knots of wind. It was not a good night for the crew of the good ship SCOOTS, as it was nearly impossible to sleep on our off-watches, or to move around at all when we were up.
But, even with two reefs in her mainsail, SCOOTS scooted along at more than 7 knots, and sometimes more than 9 knots, as she made progress toward the south. The skies were clear and full of stars, and a bright moon lit our way.
We left with the intention of keeping an eye on the weather, to eventually make the decision of whether to make a stopover at tiny Minerva Reef, or carry on for the whole 1200 mile trip to Opua, NZ in one shot. We have to pass Minerva regardless, so we haven't made that decision yet.
This morning, the wind and waves eased a bit, and the ride became more comfortable. Just having the sun up always makes things seem better. :) Now, 24 hours into our southern passage, the wind is picking up again. We have the full reef and jib and are making about 8 knots toward Minerva.
Our position yesterday: 18 42.08'S, 174 01.81'W (Port Maurelle, Tonga) 24 hour position: 20 44.30'S, 176 10.80'W Miles traveled in 24 hours: 175 Average speed: 7.3 knots