Day 1 to Opua

22:38.43S
176:31.16W
 
 
Day 1 to Opua, New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Beez Neez lookin’ mighty fine. 
 
Sunday was always going to be a day for chores. We jumped up and got to it. Bear as usual nipped over to Big Mama, came rushing back with good news. Internet back up and running today. Marvelous, that means we won’t have to cross the bay in Baby Beez for the weather files. After tea and toast, I got down to cooking. Bear went to scrub Beez bottom, a requirement before taking her in to New Zealand waters.
 
Since we left Panama ‘the booze fridge’ (the portable chap that lives under the end of the dining table), has been my meat and fish freezer. Emptied and cleaned out, converted back to fridge temperature means that I can get rid of cans and bottles from the big fridge. It can be a chore in itself getting anything out from the bottom as I can only just reach down into the depths. That said all my stowage boxes are now clean, shiny, in order and easily seen, as opposed to being buried because the fridge is too full. Sweet and sour chicken, beef curry, tuna steaks for tonight and pork chops for tomorrow all done as the captain came in from scrubbing.   
Indoors tidied, thermals out ready in case and blogs written up to date, it was time to test mamas signal strength with a cold wet in hand. Very fast. Now another interesting laptop experience for me. Currently I am ‘borrowing’ Bears Sony, which I feel sure Noah used for his spreadsheets on stowage and supplies. Steady. Its true. Since it did an update in town, I can open Outlook Express to send the blogs, but, I cannot open or access Google and as that is the search engine of choice, currently Google Tonga, I’m stuck. Nothing for it but to send blogs via the Sony and date them through Bears Mac. A couple of cold ones for that then......... Back for supper, a backgammon loss for me which led to the need for a violent film.
 
 
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Monday morning. Bear went in for weather files, “oh, you’ll have to wait for the ferry to come back with petrol for the generator, about eleven o’clock........” Baby Beez stowed and all ready to up anchor at half past one. It felt good to be on our way. The wiggly course through the scattered islands in sixty feet of water was a bit washing machine like, but as soon as we saw the last green buoy, deep water bade us ‘welcome’. I thought the buoy looked like a little Mandarin soldier holding a ceremonial something or other. Yes, dear. Mmmm.
We passed the area of out-at-sea surf we saw the other day in the hire car, just as impressive but pictures never do it justice at such a distance. Once by them, it was time to turn back on ourselves into wind, put the main up with one reef, same with the genoa and set course for the next thousand miles or so.
 
 
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A gentle sunset. Average speed around six knots, average wind around twenty knots. I lost yet again at backgammon and soon the bearded one was soundo in his cockpit nest. I settled to listen to the end of The Nutmeg of Consolation and started Clarissa Oakes. I do like the books read by Robert Hardy. One or two have have not and are just not the same. The night passed in a nice rhythm.
 
 
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I went to bed to a pleasing sunrise at six.
 
 
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Bear passed an odd little island called ‘Ata, sprouting from nowhere in the middle of nowhere.
 
 
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I like the picture Bear took at two and a half miles off, very impressed he got a sea bird in, Oh purely by accident I have to admit. Well I like it well enough but without a glimmer of sunshine, the dullness was in for day. At have past one, our first twenty four hours at sea, saw one hundred and thirty five point seven nautical miles under Beez belt.  Speed settled to just over five knots and the wind at fifteen on a gentle sea with the odd big wave from the left. The only fly in the ointment was losing five two at backgammon, eroding my lead to just two...................... Maybe lunch of pork chop, cabbage, carrots, mash, gravy and apple sauce will settle my losing waspishness.............
We’ll see, but, I’ll put no money on that one.
Steady – Have you ever seen a ripening pineapple used sharp end first.
Bear has.
Run Bear, Run 
 
 
 
 
 
ALL IN ALL A GREAT START
                    EXCELLENT