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Date: 04 Nov 2016 00:27:29
Title: Trip from Tonga to NZ 4th Nov

33.29.98S 174.34.51E
 
After a tough 36 hrs we are now just 110 miles from Opua and motorsailing along at over 5 knots.
 
Susan had an interesting experience a couple of nights ago when she was sitting at the back of the cockpit. A flying fish flew straight into the cockpit, past Susan and smashed into the front of the cockpit, where I normally sit on my shift. People have been known to be knocked unconscious by large flying fish, so we were lucky.
 
On Wednesday night we had a front go through with over 30 knots (force 7/8) of wind for a period of about 15 hours. The wind was from the North, so behind us, so we had a very fast passage, but the seas were pretty rough, a 4-5 meter swell, so it was like being in a washing machine. When the front passed we had a sudden wind shift to the SSW, i.e. on our nose, so we then had 25-30 knot winds for the next 15 hours, before the wind veered to the SW and dropped to 20-25 knots. As we were tacking this slowed down our progress drastically. The wind has now moved to the WSW and we are able to sail close to our course to Opua, so we are again making good time. We expect to arrive mid morning tomorrow (i.e. Saturday).
 
Some of our challenges over the past 2 days are:
 
- One of the solar panels on the side of the boat was hit by a big wave and has bent some of the supporting stainless steel bars.
- The bilge started to fill up and I had to investigate where the water was coming in. I found that the cover to the anchor locker had come apart and water was rushing in, and had moved some rope to block the drainage, so the anchor locker filled up and water came onto the boat. I had to go up front and sort out the anchor locker.
- The furling line on the inner headsail came apart, but luckily we had managed to furl the sail before the problem so I just had to secure the furling drum so that the sail wouldn’t just unfurl.
- The anchor and one of our outboard motors came loose and had to be secured.
etc. not to mention the difficulty of cooking and other domestic chores at 45 deg angle with the boat bouncing around.
 
But, hey, it is all part of the adventure!!
 
We are both well and looking forward to some nice food and relaxation in New Zealand.
 
Cheers,
David & Susan

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