Day 4 Tonga to New Zealand S29:36:049 E177:55:694
We got to the ‘squash zone’ yesterday evening as forecasted. Bit of a bumpy ride most of the day with winds varying between 10 to 18 knots. Very frustrating with reefs in out, in etc and speed anywhere from 9 knots to 3.5k. Around tea time the wind got up as we approached the squash zone between a low and high pressure system. Wind has been blowing between 22 and 25 knots gusting up to 30 all night and speed has hardly dropped below 9 knots all night. More wind forecast today, however we have been working our way east of the rhumb line so we can bear away directly for Opua when the “big blow” arrives. The sea is a kind 2 – 3 metres and coming aft of the beam so not too uncomfortable. Every few minutes we crash into a big wave sending up plumes of spray and sometimes pumice! The sea has gone from a bright inky blue to gunmetal grey. I’m wearing socks, shoes (first time in 4 years on the boat!), thermals, fleecy track suit bottoms, a long sleeved t-shirt, 2 fleeces and that’s just for inside! Then add to that my heavy weather gear, gloves, scarf and hat and you’ve got the picture! It’s chilly to say the least and we’re going into the start of a New Zealand summer!
We’ll probably be in this weather for the best part of the next couple of days – the good thing is we have only around 400 miles to go. We are hoping to beat the big high developing off north NZ which will bring westerly quadrant winds by the weekend. Currently shooting for a Friday arrival – fingers crossed!.
24 hours distance: 200 miles