New Zealand to Fiji - Week 1

S25-44 E178-00

25° 43' 60" S, 178° 0' 0" E

Under way from New Zealand to Fiji

It's been almost exactly one week since we sailed out of the Bay of Islands.Since then we have sailed close to 900nm but still have a bit more than 500nm to go, given the circuitous route we're taking (see previous post)... The second of two fronts passed over us about an hour ago (the first one had passed us last night without much a-do) and once the sky clears we hope to have nice sailing all the way to Fiji. With the passing front the wind has also shifted favorably from NW to WSW and we can now sail a more direct course to Fiji more comfortably. Until Friday morning though our strategy will still mainly be "Go East" in order to be at least directly south of Fiji before the easterly trades re-establish themselves. On this passage we have twice daily radio contact via SSB to a handful of other boats under way (Victoria, Anni-Nad, Kira, Wigwam) and a few still in port (La Gitana, Lop To, Akka). In addition, Detlev on Kira had organized some weather support from friends ashore (Christian in Russel, Michael in Auckland) who join the SSB net from their homes and provide latest weather info with the benefit of an internet connection (somewhat complicated in Christian's case by the fact that his home internet connection has been disabled by a lightning strike - hence he has now recruited his neighbour as well). This has turned out to be extremely helpful over the last week, given the surprises that tropical depression had in store. The fact that we're getting closer to the tropics again makes itself felt as well: 3rd day without socks! While we still have to put on foul weather gear in the cockpit for the occasional crashing wave, the layers underneath have also gone down from 3 to 1. We'll let you know when we have the first night watch in shorts and t-shirt again... All is well aboard, stay tuned....

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