Fiji to NZ (6)

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Thu 21 Nov 2013 23:09
Friday, 2013-11-22, 11:30, 32:42.589S 175:02.000E, COG 196, SOG 6kn, Wind 25kn SE, gusting 35kn.
It feels like we’ve reached the rinse and spinning cycles of the South Pacific Ocean washing machine, 1400rpm. I asked Rob for his commentary on today’s blog entry: “Thanks weather for giving us one last lovely day. I’m clinging on with my fingertips.”
The wind is still coming from the south east with 255 to 35kn and we have to sail close-hauled at 40 degrees apparent wind to stay on course to Opua. For this to work at all I had to put the 3rd reef into the mainsail and change the genoa for the little staysail. A good morning exercise. The waves are properly developed now and pound the boat constantly. I begin to wonder about fatigue on the 32 year old welding seams. Just kidding, I have absolute confidence in the strength of the boat, but the volume and frequency of the bangs are very impressive and make the whole hull vibrate and shake.
The water coming through the companion way slider is a real nuisance, and trying to get rid of it is an uphill battle. Salt water sloshes underneath the floor boards and I’m not looking forward to repairing the damage it’s doing to the furniture. Cooking is out of the question. For breakfast we had the last of yesterday’s the Dal-Kumara-Curry, and I suspect for the rest of the trip it will be muesli bars. Good that it’s only 153nm to go to Opua. If the wind doesn’t change further South we should get in tomorrow afternoon after pretty much exactly 168 hours = 7 days. That’s 164 hours on the same port tack, we haven’t tacked or gybed since we went through the pass in Fiji.
I’m pretty happy with our sailing and tactics so far. It would be nice if the wind would ease off a bit for the last day or at least turn North-East so we can get the water out of the boat and make ourselves presentable. But if not, well, then it has to wait until we get into port. We positioned ourselves as best as we could and now we have to deal with what we get :-). The best part of every passage is always when you reach land, especially when your loved ones are waiting for you.