Day 390, Year 1: Passage to New Zealand, Day 3—The BIG High Pressure
Date: Sunday, November 12, 2006
Weather: Overcast Day, Winds E 7 Knots
Air Temperature: 68 degrees F and falling
Water Temperature: 64 degrees F and falling
Latitude: 29 Degrees 26 Minutes South
Longitude: 177 Degrees 17 Minutes East
Location: Passage from N Minerva Reef to New Zealand
Miles to Go: 388

We are currently negotiating our way through a BIG high pressure system. That means we have little or no wind. The weather folks have been referring to this high as “big” because it is impacting the entire western South Pacific from Australia to French Polynesia. Sometime between now and tomorrow we should go through the center and after that our winds should begin to increase. As we approach the coast of New Zealand, however, we will begin to feel the affects of a low approaching the North Island. If we get in on Wednesday morning, we will avoid the strongest winds that should arrive later in the day on Wednesday and should continue on into Thursday. Unless we have a major problem, we will be in Opua early on Wednesday.

The temperature continues to drop slowly. This morning it was 64 degrees F, but by this afternoon it was 68 degrees F. That doesn’t sound that cold, but we are already using layers of clothing. I put on my long underwear for last night’s watch, but it was still a little chilly. We broke out a polar fleece blanket that we can use when on watch. That really helps to keep the chill off. Unfortunately, both Mark and I have managed to get a cold. I guess this cooler weather just doesn’t agree with us. The tropics are already becoming a distant memory, and one we want to hang on to. I know we will enjoy New Zealand but it is going to take us a few more days to adjust to the differences.

We heard from Quantum Leap by email and they are now in Whangarei. They have a rental car and have jumped back into land life. They said they went to two movies yesterday and had popcorn and ice cream. Sounds like they have already acclimated to “life after the tropics”. I’m sure we will as well.