Saturday, May 9, 2015

Day 1: NZ to Minerva/Tonga

Date: May 10, 2015
33° 50' S 175° 12' E
Water Temp: 66.2
Log: 16889
Distance to go: 670nm

I left New Zealand yesterday, bound for Minerva Reef. Depending upon the conditions, I may skip the reef and head directly to Tonga, but hopefully I'll be able to get into the reef on this trip.

Its currently sunny with patchy cloud. There is a light wind of 12 knots from the south and I'm making around 5 knots heading north - single reef in the main to keep it quiet, full genoa and the wind on my port at 130° apparent. The seas are a little confused but small. These are really nice sailing conditions at the moment. A large pod of dolphins found me on my way out of the Bay of Islands and played with me for a little while.

I'm expecting the trip to the reef to take something like a week. The weather window I left on wasn't ideal, but it looked like it would be manageable. I'm starting in generally light wind and am expecting it to get lighter and more variable by tomorrow. Then some strong NW wind will fill in - the further north that I am the less strong it will be, and that's my plan - head north. After two days of what I hope will be a fast beam reach I'll run into another light patch, followed by a front which will be followed by SW winds which should blow me the rest of the way to the reef. Or at least that's the way it looked when I left. I'll be downloading weather along the way and will adjust. I expect this trip to be a little 'scrappy' - I'll need to be flexible and sail as the conditions allow.

I really enjoyed my stay in New Zealand and found that a 6 month stay was just about right. It was cold when I first arrived, and it was cold when I left. The weather in the southern summer where I stayed was beautiful but I'm looking forward to the warmer weather and clear waters of the tropics which await me. A little more sun would be nice as well - as the days have gotten shorter here, energy onboard has started to become more of an issue. For tech-sailor-geeks, my batteries haven't been in float (completely full) for 55 days. In January they were regularly in float by early afternoon - time to move along!

I'll try to update this blog from time to time. As always, if my updates stop arriving, please, nobody panic. Electronics onboard a boat at sea can be finicky.

All is well onboard, I hope the same is true with all of you.

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