Day #9 - Nov. 14, 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)
• If you’d like to see our position and track on a live map go to https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Learnativity
• If you’d like to send us an Email, TEXT ONLY Please, send these to email@example.com and we’ll get these via our satphone setup.
LTY (local Fiji) time: 17:20 Nov 14th, 2016 (LTY time/NZ time = UTC +12)
LOCATION: about 1141nm south of west end of Fiji
POSITION: 34 32.182 S 174 20.984 E (can cut & paste into Google Earth)
SOG: 7.0 kts
WIND: 14 kts @ 150 degrees over Stbd aft quarter out of NNW
SEAS/Swell: 1.5m coming at us @ 45 degrees Stbd stern so lots of rolling
WEATHER: Another beautiful sunny morning and then increasing overcast as the afternoon has worn on.
SAILS: Main furled 3x and out to Port full to going poled out full Genoa in this downwind dash to NZ to beat the next front.
AIR TEMP: 65F 18C
SEA TEMP: 71F 21.6 C
DISTANCE TRAVELED last 24 hrs: 158nm
APROXIMATE DISTANCE to go to OPUA: about 52nm Almost there!
DAY #9 DOWNWIND DASH TO NEW ZEALAND AHEAD of the FRONT
Another wonderful and largely uneventful night and day of sailing for us and looks like it will also be our last and great ending to a great passage. We had clear skies and an almost full moon all night last night so we needed to have our moontan lotion on and made for a truly magical night to be out here. With zero light pollution on these passages, nights are often even more awemazing than the sunny days. I wouldn’t have any way of measuring how many more stars we see out here but let’s just say that you have NO problem understanding Carl Sagan’s famous line about “billions and billions and billons”. Stars and the whole cosmos above us appears totally different and perhaps a bit like the way I described how time for us on passages is this single contiguous flow. In the case of the stars, there are SO many of them that the sky is more white than black so you have the impression that you’re not seeing individual stars but rather this massive array of twinkling little white lights that look more like someone tripped and fell and spilled a huge bucket full of diamond dust on a canopy of black velvet. Words, mine at least, certainly don’t do Mother Nature any justice in this description but I hope you not only get the idea but have been in situations where you’ve seen skies like this yourself.
However it looks like we are now nearing the end of this passage which is a bit melancholy for us in that we do so enjoy the gift that passages are and never want them to end. And yet we are also very excited about the whole new adventures and experiences awaiting us in New Zealand for the rest of this year. Our chart plotter now shows land for the first time and our current waypoint we are aiming at just around the NE corner of the top of NZ is now just 40 nautical miles away! At our current high speeds (for us) of about 7 knots we should hit that before midnight which is about six hours from now.
Opua, which is where we need to go to check into NZ and do all our Customs and Immigration clearances is about another 12-15 nm from there and given that we have a new front barrelling at us from the west, we will probably choose to keep on going all the way there in the wee hours this morning. We would not normally go into any port or bay at night, especially one we’ve never been to, but in this case we need to weigh the fact that there could be quite high winds and waves with this newest front and we also have the significant benefit of our dear friend Philip on Blue Bie who arrived in Opua about a week ago and has confirmed for us that the charts are all very accurate in this area and there are no lurking dangers in the waters going in. This channel is also very well marked with lights and becons so we think it is a better choice to go all the way in tonight rather than wait out off shore till morning light and need to have a rather uncomfortable night as the front goes across.
So wish us well and we’ll let you know tomorrow how it all went. With luck we’ll be blogging to you with Learnativity all safely tied up to a mooring ball or dock in Opua and we will be officially in New Zealand.
Christine & Wayne