Opua to Port Vila Day 1 - Off at last

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 18 May 2015 11:00

Position           33:04.45 S 173:45.18 E

                        Corrected position for the end of day 1

Date                1200 (UTC+11) Monday 18 May 2015


Distance run    (25 hours) 136nm over the ground, 138nm through the water


Sunday morning, Customs for clearance at 0830 and final preparations made we cast off at 1115; in good order.  The weather was auspicious for good departure but we could see that motoring was going to be required for a good part of the trip with forecast light tail winds for the middle of the passage.  The first 24 hours were fully under sail once we cleared Opua Harbour.


Goodbye Opua


It has become a tradition aboard that the first dinner is Smoked Salmon Pasta.  With no sign of even the slightest queasiness thanks to the latest seasick remedy find of Pahia Bombs, this was enjoyed even more than usual.


Paihia Bombs – Supplied only from the Paihia Pharmacy, 5km from Opua, and a strong combination of caffeine and other ingredients.  These are legendary amongst Kiwi cruisers.  We only required to take a single dose, consisting of two tablets 30 minutes apart.


Opua to Port Vila Day 2 – Steady progress under sail


Position           30:50.97 S 173:20.76 E

Date                1200 (UTC+11) Tuesday 19 2015


Distance run    139nm over the ground, 138nm through the water


We are following weather routing from Bob McDavitt which we hope will help in negotiating what looks like a big area of much wind for a large part of our trip.  This is taking us out to the east of the rhumb line.  What we have encountered are winds well aft the beam with a decent sized swell making sail under genoa and mizzen the suitable combination.  The skipper is feeling decidedly under the weather nursing a bad attack of man flu and feels disinclined to monkey around on the foredeck with poles or cruising chutes.  Nevertheless it has been steady and comfortable progress.  A sunny day gave way to a chilly night that required extra layers, despite our cockpit enclosure.  Suitably timed running of the generator for battery charging and water heating allowed for some warmth from the aircon unit in the aft cabin to coincide with showering.  Heresy to hardened cruisers but it keeps the crew happy.


The hydrogenerator is pumping out a steady 8 amps or so  which helps slow down the battery consumption and hence reduce the requirement to run the generator so much.  You certainly notice when something goes wrong with it.  Today’s problem was a stray line from the generator lifting tackle working free and catching the propeller; easily fixed.


The “happy crew” produced a very good bolognaise from the freezer.