Day 5, Year 2: Maybe A Weather Window
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2007
Weather Today: Temps in the Mid-60’s, Some Rain, Some Sun
Location: Opua, New Zealand

Just last night we thought we might have a three week wait for the right weather for the passage to Fiji. And then this morning we went to the marina for showers and to do laundry and we found out that actually a weather window is being forecast for leaving this Wednesday or Thursday morning. the German cruisers have their own weather guru, Winfred, and this morning on his net he announced the window for this week. Our German friends tell us Winfred is spot on with the weather, and he is saying that we should leave on Wednesday with gentle northwest winds against us, and that by Thursday the winds will turn southwest and then eventually southeast, making it a great passage. The winds will be light, so we will probably have to do some motoring, but it does sound like a good window. Many boats are thinking of leaving, so if we can get our windlass problems solved, we will probably be leaving with the first migration of boats to Fiji. We also have to buy a new starting battery, but that is an easy thing to do from here. Early tomorrow morning we take the windlass in and we will hopefully know sometime tomorrow just what needs to be done to fix the problem. By tomorrow afternoon we hope to know if we will be able to leave with this first migration.

Today was a lazy day, yet we were busy. The marina area was buzzing with activity this morning. Roger and Jane of Wings and Strings arrived this morning from Whangarei and they were on the dock with Susan and Laura of Mystic Traveler. We met Laura and Susan last November when we arrived here. They hail from Massachusetts and are the only other boat out here that we know from the Northeast. We also talked with Felix of Makani, and it was Felix that told us of Winfred’s weather window recommendation.

After showers and laundry, we walked up to the Opua Elementary School for their monthly Sunday morning market. I bought some red peppers and cilantro and then headed back to the marina. We tried to call our son Justin from the pay phone, but we could only leave a message. We then went back to Windbird. We moved our boat to an available mooring closer to the marina and are hoping that we will have more reliable wireless internet from here. Mark worked on the “technical” problems this afternoon and I worked on downloading information from the internet on our destination spots for this cruising season. We have no idea what kind of internet capability we will have in Fiji and know that we will have very limited access in Vanuatu, so I am trying to download critical information now so that we will have it available when needed.

We spent a delightful evening aboard Procyon with Sheri and Randy. They will be heading to Tonga by week’s end and it is unlikely that we will see them again this season. Tomorrow night we have invited Sylvie and Doug to Windbird for dinner. We hope see them in Fiji, but they are not leaving here for at least another month, so it is possible that our paths will not cross again this season as well. We will know tomorrow just how much work has to be done on the windlass and whether or not we will be leaving this week. If we are leaving, Tuesday will be a final fresh food provisioning day and then off we go.