Monthly Archives: April 2012

1st day at sea

Our position at 10.00 Sunday 29th April 2012
33 26.6 south
175 28.7 east
139 miles in 24 hours, 940 miles to go

A stunning sunset at sea

Sue and I left Opua at 10.00 yesterday after all the usual last minute tasks and arrangements. It was a poignant and emotional departure as we have come to love this country and its people not to mention how great it was to see my sister Kate and her lovely family.
It was a sunny day with a light breeze and after half an hour of motoring out of Opua for the last time we had our sails up and 6 knots under the keel; Fiji here we come!
The first day at sea after coastal cruising is always a tense one. New Zealand has her toes in the Southern Ocean so there is apprehension over what this will serve up over the next week and after so long coastal cruising our sealegs are a bit shaky too. Sue usually feels sick for the first couple of days of a deep sea passage but this time she was fine and served up a nice hot precooked passage meal of chili con carne. Yum. After dark the wind turned to come from behind us and the sea state became confused so a frustrating few hours of slatting sails proceeded until, at around 1am, having failed to curse the unruly sail plan into submission and with only 5 knots of wind across the deck I called it a day and started to motor.
This first night watch in 6 months was cold compared to what we are used to so we both wore 3 layers. Sue took the first watch and I dozed in the cockpit so as not to leave her on her own in the dark on the first night. Sue went to bed just after we started motoring and I took the watch through to 5:30am then fell into bed. I awoke to hear her doing the new NICA net(Not the ICA net) that she had organised with 10 other independent boats who she had collected along the way like a little flock of ducklings. Bless.

Goodbye New Zealand

Our last dawn in Opua

Very emotional day. 

Goodbye to Craig and Kirsty from Noe Noe

We’ve checked out, got our duty free booze, sadly said goodbye to many good friends including Craig and Kirsty on Noe Noe and little Eva on Sea-Esta who we may or may not see again, and we are motoring out of the Bay of Islands.  It’s a beautiful day, we’ve got the main up and gently motor sailing to the entrance. 


Norsa following us out of Opua marina

We are in the company of Norsa, Forteleza and Toucan along with about half a dozen others who are joining us on the NICA net.  I’m going to spend my birthday at sea but we are on the way to Fiji so I can’t complain.  Any emails now need to come to mdqf6 at sailmail,com (replacing at with @).  We will be updating our position on Pangolin which you can find by following the link on our  ‘Where are we now’ page each day. 

We’ve had a wonderful time in NZ and are very sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful country.  We have a wonderful season ahead visiting Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomons, PNG and down to Australia in November.

So Goodbye New Zealand

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