35 50.2 S 174 28.1 E
0800, Friday, November 19, 2010 Time Zone: UTC +12 hours (New Zealand
Summer Time <daylight savings time>)
Weather: overcast, damp/drizzle.....water temp 19.4 C (66.9 F) Early
morning air temp: approximately 15 C (60 F)
Passage over: Really an easy passage except for moderate winds and seas
during first 2 days making for a tough ride.
Terrific sailing continued through days 3, 4, 5 on the passage followed by a
mix of sailing and motor sailing becoming the norm over the last 200 nm.
During the morning yesterday, we were buzzed by a New Zealand Air Force 4
engine turboprop Orion....as they called us on VHF radio and asked a long
list of questions that they would then report to NZ Authorities.....along
with a photo(s) they took of Sea Mist for the official record. So a bit of a
warm-up to the face-to-face check-in just going to start at our appointed
time of 0800 set up by HF radio contact 30 hours out.....which followed
Pre-arrival documents emailed to the authorities 10 days ago.
Playful dolphins visited us later in the day to end our open ocean
experience and draw us to make first site of land.....always good to have
land where it should be ....and not where it shouldn't be! Electronic
navigational charts here are once again accurate.....we don't take that for
granted and we certainly know why after making landfall at several Pacific
Islands to find land was 300 - 400 meters from where the chart said....such
is the sailing life.
And finally, our first and only vessel sighting during this 1075 nm passge
came late afternoon > a tanker coming to NZ from NZ; we chatted briefly on
VHF but it was not easy due to English being his 2nd language...so I bid him
"Good Watch" and watched him disappear over the horizon behind our stern.
We arrive without having had any "major problems" on passage ....but
certainly a few annoyances; - the borrowed sail from Fafa resort worked
brilliantly; the crew says it performed better than our original headsail
would have in the conditions in which we have been...and I came to agree
with that as the days went on.............boy, were we lucky to connect with
Yves and Joseph at Fafa Island. What a great story of the generosity
experienced from those you run into in blue water cruising!
Perhaps a "sequel" is in order regarding the biggest "annoyance" ....the
loss of AC Power>>
- The Captain kept working away at the AC Power distribution issue and
successfully isolated that problem to ONLY the Force 10 electric cooker >
oven only...burners work and all other AC consumers have been working since
mid-day Wednesday. The elements in the oven and/or the oven control knob
and/or the Force 10 circuitry are not only problematic for the appliance,
but they were somehow spilling over an impact into the overall AC circuitry;
Oyster After Sales have been very responsive to my call for assistance.....I
received very knowledgeable AC expertise by emails from them that confirmed
my diagnostic steps.
Overall, we had some interesting things to keep busy on during the
passage....making the time fly by; some examples 1) going into the AC panel
and swapping RCBOs (Residual Current Circuit Breakers) and all their
associated wiring....2) removing the stove/cooker from the galley and
checking its internal wiring circuitry and reinstalling it so it worked...3)
changing out the main engine's hi-output alternator for a spare
unit......who needs a flat, motionless boat to do work?
We ended up making it through all of the food planned for the passage so we
will escape the wrath of the NZ authorities taking it from us now... Cheryl
even managed to "bake" a couple of terrific cranberry loaves yesterday on
the stovetop.."who needs an oven?!" ....>>> one more of the many positives
that will linger in our memories of this voyage.
Cheers to all from our new home in Kiwi Land....until next May if all goes
DTG To Riverside Drive Marina - Phangarei: 12 nm up a tidal river....on a
rising tide so that we don't go aground!