Saturday, 30 June 2012

NZ to Tonga passage, day 8 and 9

Yay, we're finally having really warm weather! It's now consistently about 25 degrees during the day and still over 20 at night time, so clothes are getting much more scarce now. Yesterday we even took down the sail and took turns holding onto the ladder and dipping ourselves in the ocean. At 21 degrees water temperature it wasn't warm, but nice and fresh. We're in the middle of the Tonga Trench, so it was pretty mindboggling to 'swim' in 8-9 km depth!

Day 7 and 9 continued to be very light and a bigger swell developed (possibly from a big low around the South Island, glad we're not there...). The swell together with 3-6 knots of wind from all over the stern quarters made for very slow speed (under 2 knots) and the main sail continued to pop and bang, very frustrating, so we gave in and finally motored throughout the whole night. This morning the wind finally filled in and we are having a lovely 12 knots SSE breeze (tradewind!!!) and are doing 6 knots. Today we also saw our first ship since Gisborne. Saw and saw, our AIS told us a freighter was 12 miles ahead of us, too far to spot with our own eyes. It was the most excitement that happened all day and we both jumped up when the AIS alarm beeped.

We have decided on going straight up to Vava'u and then hopefully visit the Ha'apai group later on.

Position: 22,26,1 S and 175,00,6 W
1040 miles so far. (103 miles daily average the last 2 days, again exactly the same as last report!!) 240 miles to go to Vava'u (only 60 to Tongatapu, the bottom of Tonga). This means we might get to Vava'u on Tuesday, of course depending on the weather.
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