Passage to the Tropics - Day 1
13 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
Hello from the South Pacific Ocean about 150 nm from the northern tip of New Zealand! All is well aboard the good ship SCOOTS, as her crew regain their sealegs and remember how to sail her after six months in port.
We left Marsden Cove Marina near Whangarei, NZ, at noon yesterday, along with 16 other voyagers, most of them our friends, and all eager to ride the favorable weather window that was forecast between NZ and the tropics. It was quite a parade that left the marina, one boat getting underway after the other, for the better part of an hour, with some conch blowing, horn tooting, and "see ya laters." A very festive end to our summer stay in New Zealand.
The first part of the trip was kind to us recovering landies...very light winds and almost-flat seas. We fired up Y the M and motored across the sunlit water. Awhile later, though, this being the Northland in New Zealand, gray clouds gathered, floated over, and rained on us for the next six hours or so. Oh well, it was a glorious start, anyway.
With more than a dozen sailboats traveling nearby, our night watches required more than the usual amount of attention to the chart plotter. Throw in a couple of cargo ships and a cruise ship - who had the job of avoiding all us boats who were strung out along the coastline - and some fun conversations on the VHF radio with friends on boats nearby, it made for an interesting night.
We'd put a reef in our mainsail last night when I came up for my 10pm watch, because of some blustery wind that accompanied a squall. Being surrounded by squalls, I thought it would be a good idea to shorten sail. However. That was the only wind we saw that was higher than 10 knots for the rest of the night, and not wanting to wake Eric up during his off--watch (sleep is golden when we're on passage), we spent the night going slow or relying on Y the M.
This morning the sun was out again and the wind was up a little - 10 to 15 knots from almost right behind us, with 6 foot waves from our port quarter and beam. A bit rolly. Friends of ours on a catamaran complained that it was bouncy. I had to laugh...monohulls like SCOOTS roll, and catamarans bounce, with the waves. We each choose our poison. We took down the mainsail and put up our Code 0 and jib, wing on wing. We ended up taking the jib down and relying mostly on the Code 0, which is moving SCOOTS along quite nicely.
I'll check in again tomorrow.
The Numbers at Noon 6/14/19: Position: 33 52.44 S, 175 38.58 E Speed: 7.7 knots Course: 012 T Water temp: 66.2F (it was 60F when we left, so that's an improvement) Wind: 15kn SW Sea: 2m swell from SW Miles in last 24 hours: 138.5 Miles to go: we don't know yet, but at least several hundred. We haven't decided whether to head for Savusavu, Fiji, or North Minerva Reef.