Fiji to NZ- Day 5
01 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
The strong winds that told us we were still traversing the cold front continued through last night and into this morning. We had sustained winds in the low 20s, all from behind us, which is much nicer than winds in the low 20s from either the front or the side. The waves were all following seas, too, which was nice.This was the weather system that I'd been worried about since leaving Fiji, not knowing how much oomph it was going to pack. The answer: not that much.
Looking at the succession of NOAA satellite photos that began coming in at sunrise, I could see that while we were located at the outer edge of the bulk of the system, a small area just in front of us had filled in with pretty colors. In these pictures, pretty colors are bad: they indicate different amounts of convective activity, i.e, potentially stormy conditions. Behind us, the front had split into two, and was growing in size and intensity, The whole thing, including the area between the two fronts, was ablaze with large swathes of pretty colors. We were glad to have gotten across most of the front, before it grew.
As we traversed the small area of convective activity, we got a lot of rain, and the wind increased. We saw some gusts of just over 30 knots, but mostly the wind stayed in the upper 20s. About two hours after it began, we seemed to have emerged onto the other side: patches of blue sky appeared in the clouds, and the wind dropped to 13 knots and backed to the west. Of course, we put our mainsail up. Our friend, Dave, on s/v Rewa, who was still a couple of miles behind us, put his up as well. Off we sailed along a lovely beam reach.
During the night, Eric went on deck to attend to a line (rope) on the foredeck. While he was up there, I kept an eye on him from the cockpit. He was wearing his harness, and clipping to our jacklines, but we still always spot each other when one of us is on deck, especially at night. SCOOTS was rolling and tilting a bit, so he sat down on deck so that he could use both of his hands to tie the line. When he got back to the cockpit, I smelled a very strong fishy odor. Sniffing around, I discovered that it was coming from the seat of his pants. When I shone a flashlight at the source of the smell, there, on the back of his pants, was an outline of either a squid or a flying fish. Eeuw. Ah, the glamours of the cruising life!
The wind died a little while later, so we fired up Y the M. We ended up motoring for the rest of the day and into the night, making our way across a large zone of light air, left behind when the front passed, hoping to get to the other side, where there was wind.
Position at 430pm 1 Dec: 27* 01.94's, 175* 09.17e Miles gone: 578 Miles to go: 486
We're more than halfway!