Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weather Watching

It is time to get back to the islands. Our immigration soon expires and it is getting cooler with each passing day. Winter is on its way to NZ and we need to be on our way north – to warmer climates! So now we wait and watch the weather patterns – which seem to change daily. One day we think we will be leaving on Wednesday and the next morning – that changes. Then it looks good for the next 12 hours...and then it changes again. The fronts, ridges, lows and highs move like pieces on a chess board. It does feel like a chess game at times...we want to make the move when all the right pieces line up and we'll have an easy trip. Okay, we'll settle for not necessarily "easy" but at least not really stormy!

Or destination is Fiji – with perhaps a stop at Minerva Reef weather permitting. To get to Minerva it will be about 7 – 8 days and to Fiji another 3-4. It is hard to predict weather in this part of the world that far out – so we look for a window to leave in decent weather and nothing huge on the horizon. Of course all this has to happen by May 28th!

For now we are pretty much ready. The boat is pretty well provisioned with only the last minute stuff to get. It is cleaned and things are pretty well stored. Michael has been getting lots of projects done including having made a side curtain for the cockpit. That should make the really rainy days much more comfortable at anchor and perhaps, even at sea. If we stay here much longer, he'll get the second one done as well. He also has put on a new track for the dodger (the old was pretty cracked (most likely the original when the boat was built in 1987.) That was a chore as the place we bought the track from told us to use a heat gun to heat it and bend it into shape...well that didn't exactly work. It was better to not use the heat and simply bend it and put the screws in a bit at a time. The heat actually malformed the track part so we had to really work to undo the mistake by reheating it back into its original shape which took twice as long. But its done. We also replaced another opening port that leaked – we had a spare on board so that was convenient. We re-waterproofed the bimini with outrageously expensive water-proofing. Michael replaced the small windows in the bimini as well.

So Astarte is looking pretty ready to go. We're pretty ready to go. Now we just wait for the weather to say..."GO."
At 4/26/2016 8:32 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 35°43.41'S 174°19.56'E

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