New Zealand to Fiji S25:25:468 E177:34:199
Had a quiet day with light winds as we neared the northern limit of the high pressure ridge. Around 4pm we were through and into stronger winds – around 14 knots as predicted on the grib files but more from the east rather than south east which meant a close reach on starboard tack – boat heeling significantly for the first time this trip. As the evening wore on the seas picked up and the wind strengthened to around 18 knots. We put a reef in the main and a couple of rolls in the genoa and spent a reasonably comfortable night but averaged around 8.5 to 9 knots. This morning we had an email from David and Patricia of Gulf Harbour Radio confirming what the grib files were telling us and no need to rush. So we now need to go a bit slower so as to avoid the tail end of the stronger winds. We are sailing at a longitude of about 176E some 240 miles from the date line. We had a thought last night, that if the low developed into a cyclone and passed east over the date line, then it would have formed yesterday – so that would be ok – wouldn’t it?
This morning brought confirmation of us getting back into tropical waters – a haul of flying fish and a gunnel full of pumice (but old pumice which is probably the residue of the stuff we saw on the way down from the eruption on the Keramadics). This old pumice is complete with mini ecosystems and even has goose barnacles growing on it! Amazing where those little critters can grow! Before breakfast we put away the genoa and brought out the stay sail with Matt’s new configuration of running the sheets through a barbour haul block to give the sail a better shape. We’re now sailing at around 7 knots in 18 knots of wind with 2 metre seas, which is about right for where we need to be tomorrow (knock on wood).
24 hour distance: 193 miles