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Date: 26 Jul 2014 11:39:39
Title: Funnel out 35.04S 175.24E

So it is time again, after 9 months(!) in NZ (well the boat has been there so long at least), now it is 22.00, dark and very very cold.
Im wearing wool set, trousers, sweater, seatrousers, sea jacket, gloves (2 pair), a wool cap, and with all that Im freezing...
The winds chillfactor is brute.
And the wind is coming from aft right into the cockpit.
I was thinking about what happens when you leave the shores  and it can be best describes like a funnel (Sv: Tratt).
You start in the narrow end, it is cramped, you have to watch every centimeter as you leave the dock, nowadays they make marinas that take two times more boats per square meter....
You get out through a very narrow channel that is dredged to 3 meters, you are careful, and then the funnel widens as you get out on the big river, the tide is going out and so are we. BUT, you have to watch, there is a big cargoship coming in and it takes almost the entire widths of the water.
You come out of the river and the buoys get wider apart, you can start to relax a bit, going around a small peninsula the watwer deepens to 26 meters, feels good, we stretch out and roll out the sails. We cut the engine and it is always a great seanse of relief when it gets quite. The horizon is only interupted by some scattered islands. We can set course towards northeast. You can relax even more, sit back and watch the wind speeding up the boat. The autopilot is doing a great job. Some black clouds wont let you relax yet, we have to watch them, and yes as they approach the wind picks up to gale speed, we have to reef, there is another cargo ship interfering with our course. We call them when they are 5 nM from us, and no, they havent seen us... They alter course and 700 ft of ship loaded with containers to the chimney pass us and we can relax again.
The funnel gets wider, the depth is now 500 meters, nice, boats do not like shallow water...
Life starts to feel very free now, we make "tunnbrödrulle", a tortilla filled with mashed potatoes and sausage (yes we found some vegetarian kinds that taste really good, and I know it is SILLY with vegetarians that eat vegetarian food that looks like meat, but if you love mustard and ketchup, what do you do?).
The kids play with the iPads (it is Saturday treat).
I go to bed even though I know I will not sleep, not yet. We are not in the new living cycle with 4 hrs on and 4 hrs off yet.
Now I better take a look around the horizon, even though there is nothing to see but the stars.  We are out of the funnel and will hopefully stay out til we get to Tonga.
Water temperature here? 12 degrees...
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I also have to say we had a great farewell fiesta with Vanessa and Mark. They actually welcomed us when we arrivwd and said farewell when we left today. They brought a bunch of goodies and we are still munching...
Vanessa is a friend from the days I worked in a hotell in Santa Barbara (she was travelling and working away from NZ then) while I was studying to become a filmmaker. No it is not long ago, only 1980.
Well suddenly another friend from Santa Barbara that had connected on Facebook informed Vanessa about our arrival to NZ, thats how it all happened.Small world when you sail around on it, but now it feels far away from the tropics.

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