Friday, November 14, 2014

New Zealand Bound

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 15, 2014 we will leave New Caledonia and make our way 895 miles to Whangarei, New Zealand. The weather window looks decent – though there will be some hefty head winds for a portion of the trip. The seas are also kicking up from the south pole, so we should see some pretty good swells around the middle of the trip. But things are constantly changing and this looks like the best window we've seen yet, so we're going to grab it. We are guessing that we will make it to Whangarei in about 8 days. We are prepared to motor if we have to for a portion of the trip if we can't maintain at least five knots. We don't carry enough fuel to do that for more than a 85 hours. We are leaving from Ile des Pins in the southern part of New Caledonia which cut off about 40 miles of the trip to NZ – and have been here a few days getting the boat and ourselves ready for this passage. We are as prepared as we can be for the trip – meals prepared and frozen, dinghy rolled and tied on deck, loose items stowed away and the boat checked out and ready. This is a tough passage normally – it seems there is always some weather system brewing in the Tasman and lately there have been non-stop highs, lows, troughs, fronts and you name it!

We will be leaving along with several other boats in the morning. Our friends on the catamaran "Gypsea Heart" will get underway at the same time as us – but they are a much faster boat than us so should get to NZ sooner. Plus they are headed to a different entry port – Opua which is about 60 miles closer. That will be our "Plan B" if the weather get bad – we'll change course and head there as well. A NZ boat, "Distracted" will also be leaving making their way to Auckland. Several boats left this afternoon (Kalaini, Mariposa, Samuri) – all much faster than us as well. So we'll have company out there. We have several radio nets we are checking in with for underway and hopefully we'll also be able to post our progress with daily position reports. That is if our "pactor modem" continues to work – it has been having a few hiccups lately. We hope it makes it at least until we get to NZ so we can continue to get our weather reports and e-mails.

This trip always makes us a bit anxious – so we hope everyone will keep their fingers crossed – a few candles lit!

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