New Zealand to Fiji S20:01:798 E177:13:868

Superted V
Jean & Matt Findlay
Tue 30 Apr 2013 22:25

Day 6


First of all Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law Colleen.  Have a great day.


What a day and night!  After the previous night’s uncomfortable trip, the winds abated to around 25 – 30 knots, so set a small bit of main again, to continue our westerly detour around the low sitting ahead of us. Unfortunately in the process we managed to get into irons, so turned on the engine to kick us round. Later we discovered one of the mainsheet traveller lines was bar tight over the starboard quarter – yep it was round the prop. So while Jean started the engine and engaged reverse, Matt pulled the line and hey presto it unwound. It looks like there is a bit at the end missing, so will need to check it all out before manoeuvring into the customs dock at Fiji. A very wet day followed with squally showers with just a bit of a mainsail and the staysail.  Seas building all the time.  Little did we know the worse was still to come!  As night fell, the wind started to get up again and at around 40 knots we put the main away.  Still doing OK with just the staysail until the wind suddenly picked up to a sustained 45 knots (we saw a maximum of 50k).  We were going far too fast careering down the huge waves so the staysail had to go.  For the rest of the night we were in uncharted territory doing around 7 – 9 knots under bare poles!  The boat (and Matt) coped beautifully with it all.  There was so much phosphorescence with so many breaking waves (we took quite a few) and to watch a huge wave approach from behind knowing that it’s about to break when suddenly it slides underneath the boat and lifts it up in the air then breaks under and alongside is quite scary.  At one point the gas bottle was knocked down by a wave and Matt had to go out on deck to retrieve it before it could do much damage.  We downloaded another grib file at 3am and the low which was supposed to move off to the east had not moved but intensified and we were just to the west of it where we had obviously got a bit of isobar compression.  Fortunately the forecast was for the wind and seas to die down a bit at daybreak and sure enough we are now back to sailing dead downwind under genoa in around 20 knots. 



24 hour distance: 185 miles