Fiji to Nz (4) - half way

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Tue 19 Nov 2013 22:59
Wednesday, 2013-11-20, 11:30, 27:35.155S 177:07.342E, COG 187, SOG 7.0, Wind 15kn NE
All through yesterday afternoon the sea was nice and we were gently gliding along at 7kn in 15kn of Wind – wonderful. For six hours we felt that all the trouble was worthwhile. We even cooked a proper dinner in the pressure cooker – potatoes, carrots, onions, kumara, eggplant, garlic, chicken stock, nutmeg, pepper, a little salt and two cups of water. My favourite. It was a little tricky with the broken oven gimbal but I wedged the oven into it’s nook and tied it down with a rope. The boat smelled delicious of steaming vegetables and then we ate and traded stories.
Of course during the night the wind increased to 25kn and it got bumpy again, but fortunately no thunderstorms anymore. I put the 2nd reef into the main but we were still going at 8-9kn, and so this morning we passed the half-way point after 3 1/2 days. Nice going, another 172nm in the last 24hrs. It got colder too, only 24C. Time to break out the merino underwear ;-).
Now that Rob’s got a taste of how nice it can actually be he says he doesn’t mind if it takes a little longer when it means that he’s not thrown around so much or gets a wave in his face every time he steps into the cockpit. Well, looks like he’s in luck: Judging from the way the wind turns north it seems that low coming form the west is slightly ahead and south of us, where I wanted it to be. Which means we should soon get some light northerlies for a while. Perfect Parasailor weather.
Other than a few birds that circle the mast now and then we haven’t seen anything since we passed a rusty Chinese fishing boat on Sunday. Not even a squeak from the radar detector or the AIS signal of another vessel. I kind of like that, the less there is out here the less likely we’re going to run into something.
I’m expecting a quiet afternoon, although overcast and a little rainy. When the wind shifts another 20 degrees north I’m going to take the sails down and fly the parasailor. Rob always wants to know how much longer until we get to Opua, but it’s really hard to tell at the moment. With dropping winds it’s unlikely that it’s only another 3 1/2 days. More likely 4-5 days.
477nm to go to Opua.