Passage to Fiji Day 1
22 October 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
After nearly a month of waiting for a good weather window, we're back at sea again, for a week or so, on our way from Fiji to New Zealand.
Since leaving the dock at 1130am yesterday, we've enjoyed a mostly downwind sail with very slight seas, which are also behind us. A very pleasant contrast to the two wet, raucous, hard-on-the-wind passages we've had to New Zealand so far.
Generally, when voyaging between New Zealand and the tropics, one waits for a Big Fat High (BFH) to sit over the cruising route and then blasts across it. This time, there is no BFH; there hasn't been one for weeks, and there isn't one in sight. So we're taking a window that is really just a series of good weather between some Lows.
Our strategy for this passage is pretty simple: as we sail south, we pace ourselves to allow two Lows to pass from west to east in front of us, about two days apart, and then blast to New Zealand in the gap before the next one. Simple yes, though it requires careful attention to the weather along the way. Our forecasts indicated that we would have light air for the first half of the trip, followed by stronger conditoins for the second, though the wind is predicted to be from behind us, which is good.
This morning as I'm writing this, several dark petrels or shearwaters are swooping just over the surface of the ocean near SCOOTS, their plumage illuminated by the rosy sunrise. SCOOTS is cruising along at about 5.5 knots in about 10 knots of wind, a beam reach at the moment, with hardly any waves. It's pretty nice.
Miles gone: 98 Miles to go to Opua, NZ: 963