Day 389, Year 1: Passage to New Zealand, Day 2—Motor Sailing on Flat Seas
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2006
Weather: Partly Sunny Day, Winds SE 15-20 Knots Backing to E 12
Air Temperature: 74 degrees F and falling
Water Temperature: 67 degrees F and falling
Latitude: 27 degrees 18 minutes S
Longitude: 178 degrees 20 minutes E
Location: Passage from N Minerva Reef to New Zealand, Day 2
Miles to Go: 512

The rock and roll is gone. And as of late this afternoon, the “living on a slant” is gone. We are just motor sailing along on flat seas with about 12 knots of wind from the East. We are entering a high pressure system and we know our winds will diminish even more for a day or two. Right now we could be sailing with a boat speed of about 4.8 knots. But as Doug on Windcastle said today, we need to put the pedal to the metal and get to New Zealand as fast as possible. There are too many unknowns with the weather if we take our time. Commanders’ Weather also recommends that we go as fast as possible, so that is what we are doing. There have been lots of clouds today, but the sun has been shining through making it very warm and comfy in the cockpit. Last night it got a little chilly and we had to break out the polar fleece. The chilly weather really makes us appreciate the cockpit enclosure.

There are nineteen boats that are checking into the Southbound Coconut Net each day. This is a cruisers’ net that was started in Panama and it is run by volunteer cruisers. Mark will be net controller for the next two days and then another volunteer will come forth and take over. It is a wonderful comfort to be in contact twice a day with this group. If anyone has a problem, there is always someone coming along behind that could stop to help. And you really never know when you might be the one to need the help.

Now that things have settled down a bit, we hope to get a little more time to read about New Zealand. We will land in Opua which is a town up a river in the Bay of Islands. We will spend a few days there and do some land touring and then go out and explore the Bay of Islands. Since we will be back here in late April, we will just visit a couple of places and then head on down to Whangarei. This will be Windbird’s home for the next four or five months. Some cruisers we know are also using Whangarei as their home while others are going on to Auckland. We chose Whangarei based on the recommendations of other cruisers. The marina where we will be staying has only 30 slips and gives very personal service. Since we are leaving Windbird for a couple of months, knowing we would have personal service was very important to us.

It’s time for dinner, so that’s all for today. It is time to get ready for those night watches. The moon is giving us light during the night after it rises just past midnight, but until then it is black as pitch out here. Last night the stars were twinkling, but there was no light on the water until after the moon came up. I surely appreciate that moonlight.

Day 390, Year 1: Passage to New Zealand, Day 3—The BIG High Pressure
Day 388, Year 1: Passage to New Zealand, Day 1—Crossing the Dateline