33 21.86S 176 12.13E New Zealand to Fiji - Day 1

Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 2 May 2012 03:35
Left Opua in the Bay of Islands yesterday and the position above is our noon position today (2nd May). In the 25 hours since leaving we've covered 159.6 sea miles, so a good start. The weather hasn't been quite so good though, with a mix of winds from less than 5kts to 30kts. Had a good SSE wind to get us going, but that dropped out after a couple of hours. The wind then came up again and so it was a couple of reefs in the main and a well rolled headsail in preparation for a windy night, but we still maintained 6-7kts. The wind eased this morning and with our outer genoa poled to windward we were making 8kts and it was very comfortable. Since midday the winds and seas have come up again and it's blowing 25-30kts with bigish breaking seas which every now and then induce a significant roll - not quite so comfortable! The forecast was for 15kts which would be better.

Our current route is to head for Minerva Reef, a very small isolated reef in the middle of the ocean. It covers completely at high water and is about 400 miles to the north east. We're not planning to stop there, but the course gives good easting, as while the winds are south of east at the moment, they are expected to come round to the north east at some point in the passage. North east is not good for us unless we are sufficiently far east to have the wind on the beam.

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