Leaving Gisborne 9.4.11
A further delay at Gisborne has meant us leaving 3 weeks late. Gisborne "The first to see the sun" is the most easterly port of NZ and was the first European landing site. A ststue stands at Cooks landing, originally thought to be of Captain Cook, but the face is wrong and the uniform isn't English Navy. Nobody knows who it is.
A good forecast for sailing on the 9th held for 6 1/2 days, then a High moved further south and took all the wind. We had waited out the SW gales - the harbour walls damaged by earlier earthquakes were being repaired and the swell from the gales lifted out the concrete! When we left the swell had reduced to 4m and the whole bay was still a mass of white water from breaking surfing waves. Great sailing for 3 hours, then becalmed. This was to be our pattern for the next 5 days so we have spent some time literally drifting, but at least (fingers crossed) in the right direction. We've already crossed the International Date Line and have gone from 178E to 178W, travelling very, very slowly.
Several pods of common and bottle nosed dolphins visited us to show off their babies. Apart from several unlit badly marked drift nets at the start of the journey, there has been little to do or watch out for whilst on helm, but it feels good to have made a start on this epic journey. It has been very hard to leave NZ - great people and a lovely country, but terrible sailing weather!!