New Zealand>Fiji - Day 4 (2014-07-26 06:30 UTC - 25:23.6S 177:26.5E - DTF 540 nm - Track 742 nm)
Yesterday including yesterday night was definitely not one to remember, but every trip, however smooth, seems to have at least one in. We were plagued by squalls (isolated bursts of high winds and heavy rain, followed by light winds for some 30 min thereafter), some in daytime, but most at night for the obvious reason that you do not see anything and everything can go wrong. Most of them were rather benign in nature, but one or two had gusts up to 40 knots. So very little sleep. Our gybe turned out to be timed a wee bit early, resulting in us sailing back in an E direction with persisting SSE winds instead of being able to head NNE. Upside was that we came within some 10 nm from Santa Paz, expertly skippered by Lucas, our Brazilian friend with his rookie crew Finnbar and had a nice chat over the VHF. Expertly, because Lucas left only a couple of hours earlier from the some 100nm more southerly port of Auckland in a smaller 39ft Hallberg-Rassy and expertly steered the boat only just W of the rhumbline, meeting us halfway three days later. Good on him!!!
In the midst of this fun the generator gave up on us, as generators generally do, when you need them most and you are not in a position to fix them. After fiddling around for an hour and some browsing of the Tech Manual the problem was identified, a faulty fuel solenoid, which thankfully I could fix temporarily by sticking my hand in the engine every time we start the genset.
Luckily such days are quickly forgotten, when the sun starts shining again: we now sail on our intended course in 25 kn winds with one reef in the main and a full genoa, humming along at some 8-9 kn on average. Waves are still some 3-4 m, but should be coming down. Weather looks more settled for the coming days with a lesser chance of squalls, slightly lower winds from a perfect angle and calmer seas. Time to watch a movie.