Day 10, Year 2: Second Day of Passage from New Zealand to Fiji
Date: Friday, May 4, 2007
Weather Today: Mostly Cloudy, Winds ESE 10 to 15 Knots
Temperature: Air 66 degrees F; Water 66 degrees F (up from yesterday)
Latitude: 32 degrees 58 minutes S
Longitude: 174 degrees 54 minutes E
Miles to Go: 922
Location: Passage from New Zealand to Fiji

The sunset last night was as good as it gets out here where there is no pollution to distort the light. Pollution is not a good thing, but it does make beautiful sunsets. Just as the sun was beginning to sink behind a few low lying clouds, Randy of Procyon’s voice came through on the VHF telling everyone to watch for the ‘green flash.’ We’ve never seen this, so Mark got on the VHF to announce that we are not believers in the green flash. Wind Pony came back saying that we must not drink enough. I don’t think that is the problem, but last night we did see rays of yellowish-green light shooting up into a pink and blue background. Maybe there is still hope for us. Last night’s green was not a flash, but it was spectacular. A few minutes later, Lynn of Wind Pony got on the VHF to remind us all to look to the east to watch the full moon rising. There were more clouds in that direction, but the bright moon light was with us all night. The moon didn’t set until after 8 AM this morning. Each night it will rise a little later, but we should have moon light with us for this whole passage.

At the appointed hour of 7 PM, night watches started. The seas had gotten lumpy and the boat was making all sorts of noises that I didn’t remember hearing before. I’m sure they were there, but I just couldn’t get to sleep. I thought about Katharine Demers when she visited our boat a few years ago. At the time she was about seven and as she sat on the boat in the slip in the Boston Harbor, we asked her if she would like to come back and spend the night on Windbird. She announced, “Not on this crickity boat.” It was a particulary windy evening, and even on the dock, boats make noise and Katharine knew she wanted no part of that. Watches were chilly last night. The temperature at 4 AM was 59 degrees but it felt like 40, I was layered to the hilt–wool socks, jeans, short sleeved t-shirt, turtle neck, cotton knit sweater, wool sweater, windbreaker, polar fleece blanket, and I was still cold. Tonight I’ll add the long underwear and a heavier jacket. We leave the companionway open at night, so it was also cool below. Last night we slept under just a sheet and a polar fleece blanket. I’ve already added a second polar fleece blanket for tonight. We have a down comforter but it is not cold enough for that out here. We were using it back in Whangarei, but it was too warm in Opua. I loaned a second down comforter to Ranger for their crew that joined them for the passage and I loaned them a polar fleece blanket for the person on watch. I bet they used that last night. One thing is for sure, we have enough blankets to keep us warm.

People often ask what we eat when we are cruising. When we did coastal cruising on the East Coast of the US we often ate ‘camp’ food–bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and easy to fix dinners. We often had macaroni and cheese, Chinese stir fry using canned bamboo shoots and bean sprouts, and even had canned beef stew once in a while. When we were preparing for long term cruising, people told us that we would eat at sea just like we eat at home. And for the most part that is true. Yesterday we had a family favorite for lunch. The original recipe was called Spinach Bread, but we adapted it by using swiss chard and it became known as Leaf Pie around our house. It is simply swiss chard, or silver beet in New Zealand, mixed with whole wheat flour, milk, eggs, and grated cheese. It freezes nicely and I like to have it on hand for passages. With that we had a fresh lettuce salad. For dinner we had stuffed green peppers and canned baby corn with garlic butter. For lunch today, we had ham sandwiches and chicken noodle soup. It is cloudy today and we wanted something to warm the soul. I’m waiting for bread to rise right now, so tonight we will have freshly baked whole wheat bread with salmon cakes, ‘smashed’ potatoes, and fresh green beans. I’m borrowing the term ‘smashed’ from my son-in-law, Jed. You boil the potatoes and mash them, but not to a smooth consistentcy. You leave them intentionally very lumpy. Someone sent an email to the website asking if we could set up a recipe section. I’m going to email our son Justin and see if it is possible to set up a section of the website where I can simply mail in recipes and provisioning information.

We had a little visitation a few minutes ago. Two beautiful little Silvereye birds played on the apparatus on the back deck for quite a while. These little birds have a silver ring around their eyes and have green feathers on their back with a brown fluffy belly. We saw these birds on the South Island, but they should not be out here at 150 miles from land. I got some pictures and a video, and then they flew off toward land. I guess they were just on a little explore today.

070504 Day 10 Passage to Fiji 2nd Day