Not just waiting...

Anchored off Motuarohia, Bay of Islands

35° 13' 0" S, 174° 16' 0" E

Spending the South Pacific Cyclone Season in New Zealand

We actually thought we’d be leaving New Zealand about two weeks ago, but we still haven’t found a weather window to our liking. So here we are, still in the Bay of Islands, enjoying the quiet life at anchor in this beautiful place. We’re looking forward to Fiji and even the passage (once we get our sea legs, that is), but meanwhile we’re in no rush to leave this wonderful place, even if fall is definitely making itself felt.

About a week ago, we already - optimistically - did our “last" run into Opua for our “last" provisioning run and “last" check with customs, only to have that weather window drop the curtains on us, so to speak. So rather than waiting in there, we’ve opted to head out here to the islands again. Roberton Island (Motuarohia) is a beautiful place with a nice overlook point over the Bay of Islands; dolphins visit on a regular basis, jumping and spyhopping; we have the whole width of this cove to ourselves; and last but not least, there’s a clear Internet connection to the mainland from right here in Namani! So it’s easy to track the weather and keep in touch with others.

Meanwhile, we are all well occupied with our own pursuits, now that the main boat projects have been tackled in the previous two weeks of “about to leave New Zealand any minute now.” Nicky has been doing a lot of reading and programming his own video game, Markus has been putting together a “little” software program for celestial navigation, and Nana has been working on her novel. Well, we did sneak in a few small boat projects: fixing the cracked Danbuoy shaft, putting a quick seal on the chain plates, and making a curtain to turn Nicky’s quarterberth into a truly private cabin (more like a den!).

Right now, it’s looking like Saturday or Sunday might work out as a departure day: that should allow a small low to move east, past NZ, followed by (south)easterly winds for at least the first few days of the passage to Fiji. We are aiming for Savusavu in the east of Fiji, a trip of about 1100 miles that should take roughly ten days. The radio net is already up and running with boats that have already set off, so we only need two things right now: a little more patience and the right weather!

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