Day 5 - Thanksgiving Dinner and weather wonderings
23 November 2016 | Sailing south from Tonga to NZ
Today was a quiet day. The wind died to a whisper overnight, and we had to enlist Yanmar the Magnificent to keep SCOOTS moving forward. Low, lazy swells rolled us gently, but it was blissful to be able to move around without fear of bodily harm.
I decided to make good use of the comfortable conditions to make a Thanksgiving dinner! In our stores we had...a whole chicken, frozen green beans, a can of cranberry sauce, rice, and pumpkin. And as we're eating up as much of our food as we can, before arriving in New Zealand, where the customs officers are likely to confiscate all manner of foods (meats, seeds, fresh produce, and dairy items being the most serious offenders), the more of our stores we can consume now, the better.
With the tunes cranked up and SCOOTS rolling gently from side to side as she meandered south, I had a great time making our dinner, which included one of our family's favorite dishes, baked pumpkin aka "pumpkin stuff"; oven roasted chicken; gravy; green beans steamed in the steamer over the rice that was boiling in the bottom pot (how's that for double duty?). We had one bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider on board, that provided a festive beverage. We ate our dinner at the table in the sunny cockpit, the first time we've been able to enjoy a meal there since leaving Tonga. About halfway through, I remembered the cranberry sauce, still in its can in the cupboard. Oh well, we'll have it some other time. It was fabulous --Eric
Where we are, today is Thursday, Nov. 24, so we really did eat our special dinner on Thanksgiving Day. It's just not Thanksgiving in America yet. But let me wish everyone an early Happy Thanksgiving!
We're watching the weather very closely now, trying to figure out whether we should keep up our pace or slow down. A very large ugly weather system is currently eating up the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, and it's flinging some cold fronts up into the North Island of NZ, and possibly into the waters beyond, where we will be in the next day or so. The main front is expected to blow west across Opua on Friday, the town where we're planning to make landfall on Saturday, continuing east. We're still northeast of New Zealand, so most likely, we will sail through the northernmost portion of this front after it passes over the island. According to our Grib files, the front looks to be packing winds of no more than 20 knots, possibly with some higher gusts. Not that bad. Behind the front, where we should be when we arrive in Opua, winds will be light, which will make a pleasant entrance into the Bay of Islands and arrival at Opua.
Long story short, we're still planning to arrive on Saturday.
We've started sleeping with a comforter on our bed now, and I'm wearing socks in addition to a sweatshirt and waterproof pants on my night watches. The water temp is now 69 F. Brrrr. No more swimming for me for awhile.
Here are the numbers:
Day 5 position: 30 27.38'S, 175 42.89'E Miles in last 24 hours: 164nmiles Average speed: 6.8 knots Miles total: 915 nmiles Miles to go: 271 nmiles