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
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.