New Zealand to Fiji S28:05:261 E176:35:122

Superted V
Jean & Matt Findlay
Sat 27 Apr 2013 22:28

Day 3


After looking at the grib files and downloading as much weather information as we could, we decided that we needed to slow down to try to avoid the low which was shown as moving south east of Fiji.  The winds were light anyway and eventually we were sailing under main only.  Ironically when we downloaded another grib file last night, the story was somewhat different and we needed to speed up!  As the wind dropped away to almost nothing, we ended up running the engine for 6 hours during the night to keep going!  This made for little sleep for either of us.  I’m just reading a book by Les Powles who sailed single-handedly around the world 3 times – the first being in the 80’s – who would have had no weather forecast but would just have been able to enjoy the perfect sailing conditions we had most of the day yesterday!  Which is worse I wonder – knowing that you’re heading for something potentially nasty or just taking what comes with no preparation?  Think I’d prefer to be prepared.


Another perfect moon lit night with flat-ish seas with only the drone of the engine to keep us awake.  No little birds this morning.  We have just downloaded another grib file and again the forecast has changed slightly – we need to get a move on otherwise we’ll end up with no wind as we near Fiji!  It now looks as if the low will pass a little quicker and then potentially form to the south east of us as a cyclone. This will likely leave a swathe of 30 knot winds and big seas for us to pass through a few hundred miles south of Fiji. This must be one of the most difficult passages to plan weather-wise as there is so much happening with the weather in the tropics that the models struggle more than a few days ahead. Anyway we prefer understandably dodgy info to none at all.


We’re now sailing on a beam reach on starboard tack in around 10 knots of wind doing around 6 knots.  There’s a little more cloud today but so far the seas are still fairly quiet. Just had a chat on the SSB radio to some boats on passage and back in NZ. Main topics – weather and engine oil leaks!


24 hour distance: 136 miles