Namani's Blog

Slow progress

Well... those fresh nortehrlies didn't last 36 hrs but only about 18 before they died around 1000 local time this morning (20NOV). Feels like we've spent most of the day trying every possible sail configuration to eek out 2kn of the fickly breeze that remained. Ended up with te Parasailor again which - when flopping in light airs - is (a) least annoying and (b) creates the smallest shock loads compared to everything else we tried. All good exercise...

30deg South

Just about to cross 30S lattitude, marking the start of our final 350nm to Opua/NZ. After still having flown the Parasailor in light airs during the day, we now have plenty of wind again. It's even from the right direction, as it has just shifted from NE to N as we're transiting a front. These fresh northerlies on the backside of a high should stay with us for the next 36hrs. All is well aboard, stay tuned...

Greetings from the Great Pacific Duck Pond

After some nice sailing under Parasailor earlier today, the wind died on us this evening and we're currently (2300 localt time on 18NOV) drifitng under a band of high pressure on an almost motionless sea. There's even a bird sitting next to us in the water, further reinforcing the duck pond illusion. Luckily there is a half-knot current setting to the south, so we're making at least al little progress towards our destination. Wind is forecast to fill in again tomorrow and the remain sailable for the last 450nm to NZ. If things go well, we hope to make landfall on Friday (23NOV).

Back to zero and a strike

Just after sunset, when we were getting ready to take in the lure we had been trawling all afternoon, we caught a nice size yellow fin tuna. Sashimi tonight and tuna steak tomorrow - no complaints in the food department on Namani ;-) Otherwise a relaxed day, part sailing, part motoring to get through the center of a high that strecthes down to almost 30deg south. A clear starry night outside with a sliver of a waxing moon that's about to set. Still going through fields of plumice every few hours. Apparently these coee from an underwater volcano eruption in the Kermadec Islands.

Slowly gliding towards NZ

It's been very relaxed sailing the last 24 hrs, gliding along on "best course to windward" (currently averages at around 225deg true) at 3-4 knots. We made good speed the first 12 hrs after we had departed North Minerva yesterday (15NOV) morning. Since last night the wind has been dropping as we approach a band of high pressure that has its axis run along 27.5 deg south.

Off again

We weighed anchor at North Minerva shortly after 0900 local time this morning (Thursday) and are now under way again for the final 800nm to Opua in New Zealand. Conditions are very pleasant and we had a nice sailing day, close reaching at 5-6kn over very moderate seas. Now the wind is dropping a bit as we are slowly sailing into a high pressure ridge which we can hopefully cross without too much motoring. Based on the current weather forecast we plan to reach 30S sometime during Monday night.

Greetings from Minerva

Well, the wind didn't die on us and we ended up having a relatively fast sail, getting us into North Minerva at 1600 local time this afternoon. We did have to motor the last 5nm but still averaged close to 6kn on the remaining 260nm, mostly on a beam reach. Now we are anchored here:,-178.91675 (Google Earth has an image of the actual reef, see picture above - the pink line is Namani's track into the reef).

On our way...

Weighed anchor at 1430 local time this afternoon (11NOV) and left the anchorage at Big Mama's for Minerva Reef. There is nothing bad on the radar weatherwise, so we decided to make our way to Minerva while we still have some decent wind for the next 36hrs in the forecast. If the wind doesn't totally die on us we should be able to get there by Wednesday morning. By then we should also know how quickly we can continue south to NZ, All is well aboard, stay tuned...

Back at anchor

Moved back out to the anchorage this afternoon, after some last re-provisioning in town - nice to be out of the harbor again. Conditions are easing for the boats underway which is good. We're tentatively eying a Wednesday departure when the wind is forecast to pick up again a bit. All is well aboard stay tuned...

Greetings from the deluge

This area's first tropical low of the season passed just to the south of us this afternoon, making us feel glad that we did move inside the harbor here in Tongatapu on Monday. While we didn't see much above 30kn in here, boats out the anchorage reported a peak of 76kn when the wind suddenly shifted from N to SW in thundery squall behind the low's center (probably doesn't sound like much to the people who've just been hit by Sandy on the US East Coast though...). Luckily, everyone out there seems to be OK and the barometer is now slowly on the rise.