Day 15, Year 2: Seventh Day of Passage from New Zealand to Fiji
Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Weather Today: Finally Clear Blue Skies, Winds N 12 Knots
Temperature: Air 78 degrees F; Water 78 degrees F
Latitude: 21 degrees 17 minutes S
Longitude: 176 degrees 22 minutes E
Miles to Go: 222.5
Location: Passage from New Zealand to Fiji
It is close to sundown and Mark is below on the radio. By the way, he has on shorts and no shirt. The temperature is rising. There has been a 5 PM net that has been run by Paddy on Zafarse but this evening Paddy has his engine running and has interference that is keeping him from hearing most boats. He could hear us and asked Mark to take the net. So Mark is taking the check-ins to make sure we know everyone’s location in case of problems. We are all getting close to Fiji, but different boats are starting to have problems. Ohana Kai with Bruce and Lisa and their two beautiful little boys, Tristin and Matthew, are struggling a bit tonight. They have tears in both their main and headsail and their engine is giving them problems. They are working hard this evening to repair the sails in case the engine goes, but they are two days out of Fiji. We are close to them and we will check in tomorrow morning to see how things are going. I’m not sure what we can do, but I know we will think of something. Kelly and Kelly of Moorea and Ranger are also nearby, so between us all I’m sure we will be creative and find solutions to their problems. Safina is further ahead, but they are losing ground. They are short on fuel and they have only their main sail as their genoa blew out a couple of days ago. This trip has been tough on a number of boats but most of us are now above the squash zone and out of danger. White Swan and Scott Free II are still behind us, but things are starting to calm for them as well. Now we are having to contend with headwinds. At least the seas are fairly calm and the headwinds are fairly light. Windbird is barreling through. This is when Windbird’s large fuel capacity and ability to simply plow forward through wind and waves come into play. She is a good boat.
This morning’s radio net was interesting. The group of boats headed to Tonga have had to slosh through the same squash zone that we have and they are still in it. We talked briefly with Randy on Procyon and he said they are doing fine but it has been a wet trip. With their brand new bullet-proof cockpit enclosure, I was surprised to hear that. But they are an aft cockpit boat. I will have to email to find out the details. We have not heard anything about Endangered Species or Wind Pony, but I’m assuming that Procyon is in contact with them and all is well. Fatty Goodlander on Wild Card is also on the way to Tonga and he reported this morning that he put out a sea anchor last night to steady things. Winds were only in the 25 to 35 knot range, so others on the net were a little surprized at the action. We will be interested to hear tomorrow morning how things went for him. Wild Card is a smaller boat than many out here. It is either a 36 or 38 foot Sparkman-Stephens aft cockpit design. In the seas that we have had, the aft cockpits have been much wetter than our center cockpit. I’m definitely a center cockpit sailor. I often think of Tom Linskey when I talk about liking to be dry when sailing. He and his wife Harriet circumnavigated a number of years ago, and when we were having dinner and talking about our upcoming voyage, I was concerned about getting wet in our little dinghy. I wanted a bigger one (which we did buy). All Tom said to me was, “Judy, didn’t anyone tell you that sailing is a water sport?” I now know it is, but I still prefer the high and dry center cockpit on Windbird. Sorry, Tom.
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