Miss Molly heading North

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Wed 19 May 2010 06:48
33:56.70 S
173:22.33 E

We think we left NZ this year even quicker than last year. We left the Town
Basin in Whangarei early Sunday to sail down the river on the outgoing tide.
The latest weather details we saw when connected to the internet in
Whangarei indicated that the earliest weather window would be this Thursday.
We moved straight to Tutukaka, where we spent the afternoon with a hike out
to the headland with the entrance light. Always good to work the legs before
going to sea. But we could already tell by coming into the Bay of Islands on
Monday afternoon that something must have changed - several cruisers were
leaving port.

As soon as we were on internet again on Monday afternoon we saw that they
were trying to beat a weather system that would be between NZ and New
Caledonia by the weekend. That made us gear up. Last minute shopping in
Paihia, cooking up a storm of passage meals ahead of time and the last
minute preparations on Miss Molly. The alternative would be waiting for that
system to pass through and be stuck in Opua till next Tuesday, with no idea
how the weather would develop after that. According to the latest forecast
we will run into some heavier weather in a few days, but nothing that Mollie
can't handle.

Clearing out first thing Tuesday morning, fuelling up with diesel and out of
the calm Bay of Islands we motored. Little penguins and gannets around us.
Waves increasing the more we got out of the protection of the land. Not
enough wind to sail to start with and currently enough of that, but too much
on the nose to sail. We have now motored past the North Cape of New Zealand
so there is no more land in sight.

The seas are getting smoother and the sea legs are growing with the minute.
We seem to have picked a slither of a waning moon so not much light at night to sail by.
About 750 Nm to go.

We will keep you posted!

Geoff, Merel & James