Opua, NZ to Savu Savu, Fiji Day 2

31:18.808S 175:50.978E

Thursday 28th May 2015

Distance run since Opua: 250 nmiles (approx)

We slipped the lines in the Bay of Islands Marina, Opua at 12:30 on Tuesday and motored out into the Bay and set the sails for a lumpy first day at sea. The enormous low that is currently passing over NZ has whipped up the seas and although the winds were dropping, they were still 25 gusting 35 knots. So no blog entry for Day 1 of our first offshore passage since November 2013 - keeping the laptop on the nav table would have been a feat just in itself, without actually typing anything on it!

With plenty of wind we made good speed and were looking forward to checking the log at midday on Wednesday to see how far we had gone in the first 24 hours. Unfortunately, the log had hit 9999 nmiles at some point during the day and then just stayed there, so heaven knows exactly how many more miles had actually slipped under the keel. Then to make matters worse, yesterday was such a shite day (technical term, sorry) with squall after squall passing through from before dawn until mid afternoon, that we forgot to note the log at midday! So we've worked out how far we've come so far from the chartplotter, hence the "approx" above. We promise to do better tomorrow; we are a little rusty! It's a little under a quarter of the total passage.

This morning things are a little better weather wise, with a bit of blue sky showing, but still squally and with much less wind, so we have had to do a few hours of motoring. At least the sea has calmed down and it is easier to move about the boat - and keep the laptop on the table!

Because the weather here is very unsettled, and the forecast changes daily, we can't guarantee that we will write a blog every day, so if you want to follow our progress you can do so on www.yit.co.nz. This site has the facility for you to leave comments, however, we have to be online to see them and so won't see them until we make landfall in Fiji - so please don't get worried if we don't answer! We are, of course, always contactable by email at sea, though we may not reply immediately as we don't have the satphone switched on all the time (to save power!)

Even just two days at sea has brought us far enough north for it to feel a little warmer - not ready for t-shirts and shorts just yet, but not bl**dy freezing either! And a flying fish joined us on deck this morning so we know we're on our way to the tropics. The NZ courtesy flag has just been taken down - it only needs to be there up to 12 nmiles offshore but neither of us was about to go out on deck to get it in in those conditions! And we've also taken down our ship's ensign so that it doesn't flog itself to pieces - it will go back up, along with the Fiji courtesy flag and the yellow Quarantine flags as we approach Fijian waters. Getting excited about spending some time there now. First job is to get Steve a skirt - actually called a 'sulu' - for the sevusevu ceremony - but more of that later...