Day 2 - Going for it, rock and roll, culinary disasters, cruise bruises, our trip in perspective, more fabric
20 November 2016 | Sailing south from Tonga to NZ
After reviewing all manner of weather input, we've decided to bypass Minerva Reef, and head straight for NZ, which should take about 5 more days. You should still look up Minerva Reef on Google, though...it looks like a lovely place except for there being no actual land there. Maybe we'll stop there next time.
This time, though, we've got good wind and a promising weather prediction, and even though the waves are still snotty and bumpy, SCOOTS has put her shoulder into them and has been living up to her name - even with two reefs in her mainsail - at more than 8 knots on average, sometimes more than 9 knots. This pace should presumably get us into Opua during some reasonable weather. Time will tell.
It's been another rough day and night on the good ship SCOOTS. The sea state keeps the boat lurching and rolling abruptly, which tends to do the same for the crew and any loose items. Open a cupboard at the wrong time and its contents might fall on you. It's so rough that I haven't even been able to make cookies or even my signature roast chicken underway. It's been macs and cheese, cold cereal, and one-bowl meals that I had the presence of mind to make ahead and freeze. What attempts I've made at culinary endeavors have gone a bit awry, as well...on two occasions today I managed to coat myself and part of the galley with olive oil and the oil from canned wahoo. LOL it could have been worse.
I've also been thrown across the boat twice during sudden lurches when my hands were full (bad planning on my part), resulting in two blooming bruises on my bum. Cruise bruises, we call them, and every cruiser collects them during a rough passage. Listening to the radio net this morning, we heard that boats 400 miles ahead of us are experiencing the same sea conditions, so we can expect it to continue for awhile. Oh well.
We left Tonga (18 degrees S), heading for Opua, NZ (35 degrees south), with a possible stopover in Minerva Reef (23 degrees S). Of course there will be some westward movement, too. The entire trip will be about 1200 miles. From the tropics to the temperate zone.
To give our trip a Northern Hemisphere perspective...it would be like us leaving Zihuatanejo, Mexico (about 18 degrees N), heading for Morro Bay, CA (about 35 degrees N), with a possible stopover in Cabo San Lucas (about 23 degrees N). Tropics to temperate zone again.
The air temperature has cooled noticeably, resulting in some changes to our usual sailing attire: Eric has begun wearing a shirt and even some shorts, and I've been wearing long pants and a light jacket for my night watches, way more fabric than you would have found us in for the past couple of years. When we moved all the storage items into the forward cabin for this trip, we made sure to dig out our warm clothes, and make them easily accessible, as the temperature in NZ will be between 50 and 70 degrees F.
48 hr position: 23 07.74'S, 178 36.26'W Distance in past 24 hours: 198 nmiles Average speed: 8.25 knots Total distance traveled: 373 nmiles Miles to go to Opua, NZ: 813 nmiles
Critters seen: 1 tiny flying fish on deck, masked or red-footed booby, some sort of tropicbird, phoenix petrel, wedge-tailed shearwater