Day 14, Year 2: Sixth Day of Passage from New Zealand to Fiji
Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Weather Today: Mostly Overcast, Winds SSE 20 Knots
Temperature: Air 76 degrees F; Water 78 degrees F
Latitude: 23 degrees 03 minutes S
Longitude: 175 degrees 13 minutes E
Miles to Go: 374
Location: Passage from New Zealand to Fiji
After 18 hours of 30 to 40 knot winds and high seas, and then 6 hours of 25 to 30 knot winds and high seas, at about 3 PM this afternoon we came out on the other side. Whew! As I said yesterday, the sailing was challenging and Windbird is a little worse for the wear, but actually we are fine. Others have had problems as well. Ranger and Safina had water in the cockpit that went pouring down into their cabins and Safina blew out their headsail. We are minus a solar panel and only one cockpit
enclosure panel as we did a makeshift repair on the other. We did get some water in the cockpit which is very unusual on Windbird, but we are dry below. We can now see the sun and blue sky and that is comforting. We still have lots of clouds, but they are white, not gray walls. We were in a squash zone and then at about 3 PM I think we emerged on the north side of a front. We had a monster squall at about 1 PM and that started the final passage to the other side. It is nice and calm now and
all is well. If those sailors that are out in front of us are any indication, sometime during the night or early tomorrow, we will lose all wind and have to motor, but I don’t think any of us are going to be upset about that. As long as it is calm, we will be happy. Right now we are sailing along at about 6.5 knots with a double reefed main and we just rolled out the full headsail. We are back on track.
We had a number of squalls today and a couple of those ended with beautiful rainbows. That was the visual highlight of the day. My job tonight is to start seriously studying the various options for islands to visit in Fiji. When we arrive we have to hand the Customs and Immigration folks our Fiji sail plan and get permission to visit the various islands. It has been hard to think about that during the heavy weather, but I am very hopeful that those days are over for now and we can focus on our
arrival in beautiful Fiji.
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