Day 1 New Caledonia to New Zealand S25.05.67: E166.01.892

Superted V
Jean & Matt Findlay
Sun 3 Nov 2013 22:32

This will be our 3rd trip between the islands and New Zealand – after the previous two I’ve said ‘never again’ but I find myself sitting here once more - a year older but no wiser!  Anyway our preparations done and we’re ready to go. Boat checked over – rigging, blocks, ropes, batteries and bulbs in life buoys etc etc.  Thermals, long trousers, fleeces and heavy weather gear ready to put on as we leave these balmy tropical climes.  Much pondering over gribs because there is a potentially nasty low going to cross our path on Wednesday. We know that on this passage we will have to take a front somewhere because of the timing of the highs and lows that cross our track with reasonable regularity.  The trick is to take the front before we reach 30 degrees south as there should be less kick in it.  Checked out both the GFS and EMCWF models and both appear to be pretty consistent, meaning we can try and plan where to be each day, ready to set up for the following one. On Monday we will have to negotiate a region of light winds between the SE trades and the variables which are mostly SW’ly, and might have to motor sail to achieve desired position to line up to ride the north side of the low on Wednesday. After that it might be a bit of a mixed bag.


We are heading to Nelson on the north of South Island, so will go down the west coast.  Left on 3rd November at 09.30 along with 2 other boats – Blue Rodeo and Evergreen. Our friends on Chapter 2 left a day before, (all three heading for Opua on the east coast of the North Island). We have also spoken to other friends on Windover who left just before we did who are also heading to Nelson. Sunday’s gribs were showing SE around 15 knots so we were expecting to be pushed to the west.  However when we got through the reef of the southern lagoon the wind was more ESE 15 – 20 knots so we were able to sail slightly cracked off at a speed of around 8 – 9 knots for most of the day until around 4 this morning when the wind dropped off and became more easterly.   The seas started off fairly confused but have gradually become slightly ordered so not too bad.  Not much in the way of sea life – a few birds here and there.  We passed Windover in the night and saw the glow of a distant ship heading west but that’s been it so far.


I’m (Jean) trying out some different sea-sickness pills so fingers crossed – so far so good but a bit sleepy!  There are 8 pre-cooked meals in the freezer and I’ve even pre-made some baguette sandwiches and frozen them so I don’t have to spend much time in the galley!  If we take longer then it’ll be cans of tuna!  You are not allowed to take meat, dairy, fruit and veg etc into New Zealand and the bio-security who come on board on arrival are very strict – everything of that nature has to be bagged and taken away.


Well the engine has been on and off since around 6 this morning – it’s currently off so let’s hope we can keep this bit of wind all day.   Matt has just been speaking on the SSB net to other boats also on passage either to New Zealand or Oz.  We run this net (Pacific Drifters Net) every day with a different ‘controller’ each day. It works really well and it’s good to hear other voices and to get the weather conditions of boats further ahead and just to know there’s someone out there recording our daily position.



24 hour distance: 176.6 miles