We Finally Say Farewell to New Zealand
Checked out with Gary, duty free delivered, showers completed, marina bill paid and final bits saw us ready to leave at midday. Engine on at five to, Beez excited to be going to sea, with Fiji around ten days away. New log book all ready for first entry – engine hours, did you write them in....... sorry forgot. Out I trotted, nothing in the display. Mmmm. Bear bimbled off for a screwdriver, twelve screws undone, panel off for a wire waggle, nothing. All dozen replaced. Good start. I think it’s been on the blink for a while. Better get a new one then.....
Bow thruster check, just in case – nadder, I made several attempts, all had been well up until now. Bear got his dabs to it and clearly it needed a much firmer hand. Off we went at twenty past, just out of the slip and about to turn left along the fairway and the conservatory fell over my head. Help. Bear stopped what he was doing and rescued my vision. A final wave goodbye to Bay Beez and we were really off. I was very happy at the wheel as himself finished putting the fenders and ropes away, sitting just as a rainbow appeared. Now that is a good sign.
Genoa out, Bear decided to hoist the main with one reef before we got out to sea. OK, time for me to turn Beez back on herself to face into wind. Full power and all Beez could manage against the outgoing tide and gusts was 0.2 knots. Main up, balancing of sails to be done by the skipper, me doing my first impression of Grace Darling as gusts to thirty eight knots kept me busy. By two o’clock we had left the Bay of Islands and the water depth began to increase at speed.
The new AIS showed Grace in front of us and Scott-Free along with Carmina just behind, but where was Sheer Tenacity ??? As if Rod heard us he was on the radio saying he couldn’t see us. Mmmm better do some button fiddling. Maybe it was because Scott-Free and Sheer were so close to each other, we shrugged. By five o’clock we were settling in to life at sea. Pity we were on a port tack which means everything leans, falls and settles to the right. My tubes of concentrated gravy came in handy as wedges in the kitchen cupboard. I’m much happier when all is to the left but at least we won’t get thrown out of bed – think positive.
By five o’clock New Zealand was a mere shadow on the horizon behind us. Much later we thought it odd that we had heard no radio chatter, more suspicious that we had not heard Whangerai Radio giving out a weather bulletin....... Another fiddle with the AIS and it told us the ariel connection was dodgy. We would have to rig the emergency ariel when things were more settled. Beez took her head and shot off at seven knots plus, even doing eight point two for a few seconds.
I took on a sewing job, we had both forgotten that the Velcro on the front window was in bad shape, sufficient for big waves to slosh in. We always keep a yard of spare stick-on in both male and female, three inch and one. Sadly, trying to get a sewing needle through the sticky stuff required the use of the back of the scissors, what with being chucked from side to side, the index finger of course got a few stabs with the blunt end. I bled for my chore but all done in half an hour. The dipping sun was in the skippers eyes, nothing for it but to put his cap on. Is that a new fashion statement, eerrmmmmm.........
Overnight we made good speed, had the odd squall – one really tested the waterproofing of the shed, all well so far. Interesting to have to slow down to a snails pace to bimble about on board, very important to keep hold with one hand and remember that any task took several minutes. We soon fell into our well-tested four hour duty pattern but I went to bed at six singing the last song I had been listening to, not good for settling. Bear had a good sleep on his first off-watch and generally everything feels like getting back on a bike not ridden for eighteen months.
Noon summary: Missed a game of backgammon as men would have to be individually Velcroed to the board.
First twenty four hours: 160 nautical miles.
Noon position: 32:50.24 South and 175:10.17 East
We will close with our first sunset underway for such a long time.
ALL IN ALL A FANTASTIC FIRST TWENTY FOUR HOURS
GREAT TO BE ON THE MOVE
BEEZ SAYS WHEEEeeeee