Napier to Niue – The first 3 days
I’m writing a few more reports about NZ, meanwhile we’ve managed to get a weather window to leave. All the locals say go north on a dying southerly which is what we’ve got so we’re off.
Tuesday 19th April Day 1
The Customs lady came down to the boat at 12.30 to complete our paperwork and we left at 13.30. There wasn’t any wind in the bay but the strong winds from the day before had left a heavy swell. The surfers were out on the beach either side of the marina entrance as we got our first sight of the swell. It was quite impressive. Napier is in a long bay and the surf was rising as the water shallowed off. We managed to motor through it. As we looked back we could see snow on the tops of the mountains; it was definitely time to go. We hadn’t been to sea properly for months and it took us a while to get our sea legs, meanwhile my stomach couldn’t take it. ‘Why am I out here yet again?’ It took the rest of the afternoon to motor out of the bay. Bill caught a lovely blue cod that evening but wondered why I refused to fillet and cook it for dinner! When we turned north we put the main up with 1 reef in it and half the Genoa then turned the engine off.
Wednesday 20th April Day 2
Position 38 24.6 South 178 39.1 East 117 miles in last 24 hours
I feel a bit better this morning. The wind dropped over night and we had to motor for a few hours but just as we passed into latitude 38 it started coming from behind us so we put just the Genoa out. It was a bit rocking and rolling but I managed to check in with Russell radio on the SSB at 18.00, it was nice to know someone knew we are out here. It was really cold because the southerlies come straight off the Antarctic. I had fleece trousers on under my Musto salapettes, 2 layers on my top with my Musto fleece lined anorak over them, socks and UGG boots, a hat and gloves. Roll on the tropics.
Thursday 21st April Day 3
Position 36 40.8 south
179 42.9 west
134 miles in last 24 hours
Had a bit of a rolly night as we moved into lat 37 but the wind has gone round more on our beam so we took in the genny, put 2 reefs in the main and hoisted it, then put half the genny back out again. It felt a lot more stable. We are making good progress with speeds of 7 and 8kts at times which is fast for Camomile. We are gradually getting into the routine now, I always say it takes 3 days to get into a passage. We moved up into latitude 36 as we started to lose sight of NZ. We put the waypoint for Niue into the chartplotter – 1102 miles to go;deep joy.