Fiji to NZ Day 2
28 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
We had another beautiful day of sailing, with sunny skies and warm weather. All kinds of pelagic seabirds flew nearby, many of them chattering, which is unusual...they're usually silent as they swoop by. We're moving through a LSH �- a Little Skinny High, the opposite of the BFH that I've talked about here �- which means that we're encountering winds moving around a narrow, vertically-elongated circle. As the day progressed, the wind diminished and slowly moved from behind us to in front of us: first a broad reach, then a beam reach until, after dinner, just as Eric began his first watch, we turned on Yanmar the Magnificent to keep us moving in our desired direction. The seas have been less than 1 meter high throughout our trip, which has made things very comfortable.
For most of the trip, we've been two or three miles from our friend, Dave, on s/v Rewa, who's making the trip single-handed. After a night of motoring along slightly different courses, we're about ten miles apart now; not within view anymore, but easily within VHF range. So we have a little chat from time to time, just because we can. We're traveling in a very loose flotilla of about half a dozen boats, spread out over the thousand miles between Fiji and New Zealand. Some, like us, have HF radios, on which we're keeping a twice-daily radio net, so people can check in with their positions and weather, and anything else they might want to talk about.
We're all keeping our eyes on the progress and strength of the Low that I mentioned yesterday, figuring out where to cross the cold front that it's flung out in front of it. Should we slow down more? Speed up? Has it weakened enough that it doesn't matter? Out here, thanks to Eric having set up the technology, I receive graphical forecasts and weather faxes over the HF radio once a day, when propagation is good, and real- time photos from NOAA weather satellites, so I have my ways of finding out. Though I miss the smorgasbord of online weather materials that are easily available to me when we're near shore, I must admit that I when have access to them, I have a tendency to over-indulge, especially when we're planning a passage.
As I'm writing this, it's 430 am, and I'm on my second watch of the night. The sky is still dark, and filled with stars, but Venus is just rising in the east, the bright Morning Star, bringing with it the promise of the coming dawn. Soon after, Eric will get up and I'll lie down for a snooze.
You can follow our progress at Sailblogs or at Yachts in Transit www.yit.co.nz <http://www.yit.co.nz/>. I plan to post an update there each day.
Miles gone: 231 Miles to go: 833