Trip from Fiji to NZ

David & Susan's Adventures
David & Susan Simpson
Sun 22 Oct 2017 21:25
21.13.57S 173.52.94E
Well we are on our way to Opua. We left Fiji on Saturday 21st October at 8.0am. We had a 3 hour motor down to the pass at the bottom of Fiji and then quickly found that the wind and seas were significantly more than the forecast. The wind was about 5 knots more, i.e. 22-28 knots from the SE, and the seas about an extra meter (~3 meters) and very confused. We put out a small amount of mainsail and motorsailed WSW. We had expected to do a curved course down to our waypoint at 30S, so doing a bit more west initially wasn’t a great problem.
On day 1 we did ~ 145 NM which was pretty good in the circumstances, but it was like being in a washing machine. By Sunday morning the seas had moderated to 2 m and we put out some headsail and shut off the engine. We were still getting lots of water across the boat and in to the cockpit and we also had a few heavy rain showers. Unfortunately some water got into our chartplotter, we had a membrane behind a button which had perished and we were using clear surgical plasters to try to seal the button, but still be able to use it.This had worked quite well, but the plaster had ripped and water got in. The plotter initially went a bit funny, but soon stopped working altogether. We are now using the charts on the IPAD and our handheld GPS. This isn’t a great problem, but we don’t have our AIS and it is all a bit more cumbersome.
Our autopilot has started to wonder about, particularly after we are hit by a big wave and it frequently gives an off course alarm. It is however still managing , but I don’t understand what has changed and how to fix the problem.
We did about 150 nm on the second day and on a slightly better course, but we don’t know exactly due to the plotter problem.
Despite the problems we are both well and in good spirits and keeping to our planned schedule.
Cheers, D&S