NZ to Vanuatu Day four
Sun 27 May 2018 23:56
We left Opua Thursday lunchtime and motored out into the Bay of Islands, the start of a new adventure for all onboard. My first ocean crossing without Gill and we all know that every boat needs a Gill. Fortunately we her as shore crew, so still part of the team but it isn't the same.
We hoisted the mizzen and unfurled the genoa for a glorious overnight sail, the wind topping out at 29.9 knots.
The SSB (long range radio) worked and for the first time I spoke to someone using it. We reported our position to Northland Radio, our chosen shore based tracking station. I even managed to send and receive email, all that money wasn't wasted.....but more of that later.
By 09.15 the following morning the wind had died away and we were, as expected, forced to start the engine. Unfortunately the control panel died. The engine started but we don't know if it will again. Now 52 hours later we are still motoring with no sign of wind. Fuel is becoming an issue. We can probably safely motor for another 48 hours. Then, if we don't have wind, we will just have to wait till we do.
The other problem with motoring, I think, is that I am getting a great deal of interference on the SSB so no more check ins or emails. Fortunately our backup handheld satellite phone, the cheapest by far of our three long range communication devices, is working. Gill is checking weather and reporting our position.
Today the sun is shinning, we are all doing boat maintenance jobs and life is good, apart from the lack of wind. The crew of Star Charger, as usual, are working well together. I will leave them to comment on how they are enjoying it. I am a very lucky Skipper.
So far we have seen, albatross, flying fish, phosphorescence, shooting stars, ships and yachts.
Alasdair, Pickles, Cian, Maura and Ignacio
+870776 764870 Inmarsat satellite phone
+447710 197949 British mobile phone
+441372 463121 British land line
+642102 639190 New Zealand mobile phone
Sent from Alasdair's iPad