Day #5 - Nov. 10, 2016
LTY DAILY STATS: (I’ll use this same list each day for those of you who like to keep track and experience the sail a bit more this way)
LTY (local Fiji) time: 16:40 Nov 10th, 2016 (LTY time/NZ time = UTC +12)
LOCATION: about 465nm south of west end of Fiji
POSITION: 26 16.531 S 172 17.191 E (can cut & paste into Google Earth)
SOG: 5.8 kts (SOG = Speed over Ground)
COG: 180 (COG = Course over Ground, our GPS based compass heading)
WIND: 3 kts S = 0 degrees, right on our nose so now motoring
SEAS/Swell: 1m big smooth swells @ 8 seconds, with the water surface shiny slick and smooth with no wind.
WEATHER: Turned into beautiful sunny day after overcast start but we lost our wind just after noon so needing to motor now.
SAILS: Main up to stabalise what little roll we have, Genoa furled away
AIR TEMP: 70.7F 22C
SEA TEMP: 80F 27C
DISTANCE TRAVELED last 24 hrs: 130nm
APROXIMATE DISTANCE to go to OPUA: about 607 nm
DAY #5 SILENTLY SLITHERING SOUTH THROUGH SMOOTH SLICK SEAS
Today is brought to you by the letter S!!
It was another cold night for we warm weather wimps but the night before had been colder so we took some comfort in that. Sunrise showed an increasingly overcast sky but by 9am Mr. Sun had burned through it all and we were gifted with another brilliantly sunny day with lots of big fluffy clouds scattered across the light blue skies. We continued to sail along at good speeds but during the night the wind had started to vary up and down and so did our speed. We were still making good time, probably averaging out to about 4-5 knots until just after noon when it died down to less than three knots and turned to be out of the south so we have had to start up our main engine and power our way through these doldrums.
This is all pretty much what the weather forecasts had predicted so no surprise and LTY is now silently slithering through the most incredible looking slick shiny seas in this windless zone. In spite of experiencing these many times before, it always strikes me as amazing that you can have these huge stretches of open ocean, water that stretches literally as far as our eyes can see in EVERY single one of the 360 degrees around us, be as flat and smooth as a mill pond. Somehow you think, or at least I used to, that the open ocean was this wild churning expanse of big waves and winds, and those happen aplenty as well to be sure, but so too do days and immense areas like the ones we are now every so smoothly sliding through as we make our way south towards the northern tip of New Zealand.
This is day # 5 of this passage and so we are now also reaching what is about our half way point, depending a bit on where we want to call our destination. If the weather predictions hold we will most likely sail into Opua on Tuesday afternoon, which will be Monday for most of you who are on the other side of the International Date Line. We have settled easily into the rhythm of life on a passage and Learnativity has made this very easy as usual so once again we will be a bit sad to see this passage end as we do so love and enjoy these open ocean passages. This one will only be 9-10 days but we still have about 5 more to enjoy so we’ll stay focussed on that and then make the transition into the great fun and new adventures we’ll have in NZ once we arrive. It will have been 42 years since Christine was last in the small towns of Opua and Russell up in the Bay of Islands so she is VERY excited about seeing how this area is the same and how it has changed and showing it all to me. Similarly I was last in Whangarei in 2009/2010 so I’ll have great fun showing Christine that delightful town I got to know so well in the 7 months I was there. Plus we have lots of other friends who are there, some on their boats, some like our new boat designer Dennis more permanent residents and so we are both VERY excited about this next new adventure we are about to embark upon.
Some of you have been asking about Ruby and Barney and their update is that they are having adventures of their own being spoiled by two of their favorite puppy sitters back in Fiji while we are away. They are both officially “Fiji dogs” now as we imported them last year and they even have their own passports to prove it! We miss them terribly and Learnativity and a passage just isn’t the same without our intrepid fellow explorers and entertainers. We thought of bringing them with us, but when our destination changed at the last minute from Turkey to New Zealand it was just going to be too much time and money to go through the process of bringing them into New Zealand. It is one of the few countries left in the world that are rabies free, along with others such as England, Fiji, Australia and the state of Hawaii, so the requirements and paperwork necessary to bring them in is quite onerous though quite understandable. We would have also been very restricted as to where we could put Learnativity and limited to only one move during our stay there so we made the call to leave them in their “home” country of Fiji until we fly back to pick them up. We, and they, have been extremely fortunate to aquire some very special friends over our many years in Fiji who love Ruby and Barney almost as much as we do, and they feel the same so we are comforted in knowing that they are both having a fabulous time and a “parent free vacation” to enjoy so it is all good.
As for Christine and I, we are still very much on the No Plan Plan so we don’t know when we’ll fly back to Fiji and just where to from there, other than we have decided to head back to North America for a few months to have some much needed and anticipated time with our three grand babies on the East and West coasts of the USA as well as some time with some special friends and family across that big continent. We remain committed and excited about building our new boat Möbius and one of several big factors that has us going to NZ is that we get to spend some time in person with Dennis our awemazing designer working away at the thousands of details of this complex new boat and capturing all of them in 3D models. As we work with Dennis over the next few weeks and months down in Auckland we’ll get a better estimate of when the models and details will be sufficiently complete to start generating the “cut files” from the models which are the instructions to the CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) water jet cutters that convert hundreds of feet of aluminum plates into thousands of precisely cut pieced which are then shipped to wherever we end up deciding to build Möbius. This method of designing in fully detailed 3D models and then having all the materials, both the aluminum for the hull and superstructure as well as all the wood, cloth, insulation, etc. for the interior all cut to exactly correct sizes, creates what can very aptly be called one of the world’s largest jig saw puzzle kits. And then the real fun begins as we carefully fit all those pieces together and transform our visions and virtual models into a very real new home and magic carpet from which we will head off to continue to explore and experience our amazing planet.
We will keep you informed via our blogs and other updates so you’ll know about as soon as we do as this all plays out and develops so do stay tuned and don’t think it is over when this passage is over. We are “journey people” much more than “destination people” so life for us is always a verb, always fluid and always a blast!
Enjoy your evening wherever you are and we’ll be back with tomorrow’s update for you to let you know what the latest day in our charmed lives has been like.
The Crew of the Good Ship Learnativity,
Christine & Wayne