Passage to the Tropics - Day 4: Happy Father's Day, the China Net
17 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
Hello! We've had a lovely day and night here, since I last reported. The nearly-full moon was very bright last night. It turned a swath of sea into a golden road, sparkling with moon-shine, leading from the horizon to right where SCOOTS slid through the calm water, and lit up the rest of the sea over a vast distance. It backlit the towering cumulus clouds that loomed nearby, replacing their otherwise sinister presence with a soft, friendly glow.
The sea has been calm, and the wind very light, for the past day or so. That's nice for sightseeing, but not so good for sailing. A couple hundred miles from our destination of North Minerva Reef, we either had to slow down to arrive at the pass into Minerva at dawn in two days, or speed up to arrive before sunset in one day. Being no good at slowing down, we pressed Yanmar the Magnificent into service. He's been doing a great job of moving SCOOTS toward Minerva Reef at a speed that will allow us to enjoy sundowners there with our friends tomorrow evening.
This morning, Eric awoke to find Father's Day emails from both of our kids. Eric and I had forgotten that today is Father's Day in the States, but Kelly and Nick remembered. Well done, guys. You made your dad's day.
In addition to the usual long-range radio net that we participate in - The South Pacific Cruisers' Net - whose participants cover a few thousand miles, we have also set up an informal radio net among some of the fleet of us who left Marsden Cove last Thursday. Eric dubbed this the China Net, for reasons that I'll soon explain. Current participants include Liam & Annie on the boat, Gone With the Wind; Dave, on the boat Rewa; and Gail & Tony on the boat Cetacea. It's fun to chat with someone on another boat twice a day, to see how things are going with them.
As an aside, you may remember Dave and Rewa from my reports of our passage from Fiji to NZ last Nov/Dec, during which we and Rewa were in visual and VHF contact for the whole way. Well, once again, also by happenstance rather than by design, we're traveling in close proximity.
OK, so why the China Net? While we were all still in Town Basin Marina, in Whangarei, Liam - who, along with Annie, is Australian - began to amuse Eric with some Aussie rhyming slang. For example, the phrase "I'm gonna hit the frog," for an Aussie, means "I'm going to leave." Why? Well, it means to "hit the road." "Road" rhymes with "frog and toad." But instead of saying, "hit the frog and toad," it's just shortened to "hit the frog."
Another rhyming slang that Liam taught Eric was "china," as in "you're my china." This means "you're my best mate." Why? Well, "mate" rhymes with "china plate." But instead of saying, "you're my china plate," it's just shortened to "you're my china."
And so, because our informal net is composed of good friends, including the Aussie who shared taught us the rhyming slang, Eric calls it the China Net. Which I think is quite apropos.
Here are today's numbers... The Numbers at Noon: 6/17 Position: 26 32.11'S, 179 22.51'E Course: 026T Speed: 7 knots motorsailing Water temp: 73F Air temp: 74F Barometer: 1019 Wind: 7 knots SSW Seas: nearly calm Miles gone: 626.5 Miles to N Minerva Reef: 196.7 Miles last 24 hours: 168.3 (7 knots avg)