Thursday, 28 June 2012

NZ - Tonga passage, day 3 to 7

We missed getting day 3 and 4 update out last time we downloaded the weather, so this little update will cover 5 days. They are actually really hard to distinguish from each other and it's hard to believe we have already been out 7 days.

We have had almost all westerly winds, ranging from 15-25 knots almost close hauled (and waves splashing over Sophia) to southerlies. Overall it has eased more and more every day, the last two-three days we have been bobbing along to a 3-7 knot WNW'erly and our speed has ranged from 2 knots to 7.5 knots. There's soft rolling ocean swell, but it's not bad at all. It did take us at least 3 days before we both felt fine and had all our appetite back.

The sea temperature is now 21 degrees. When we remembered to check a day out of Gisborne, it was 18 degrees, so it's a good improvement. It's 20-25 degrees during the day, so we're still wearing clothes, but increasingly less. We have worked out a good watch system starting at 8pm, where we each get 3 hours sleep twice during the night, supplemented by day time napping. We have gorgeous sun sets and sun rises and I (Astrid) am taking way too many photos.

All in all, we're very happy out here in our own little 'bubble'. We're a tiny spec on a massive ocean (still haven't seen any other boats), at the mercy of the weather and winds, and we have no idea what's going on in the rest of the world, but we're content without the knowledge.

By day 4 this was our status:
522 miles so far (262 since last report), so amazingly steady speed! 575 more to go
Position: 30, 48, 0 S and 177, 41, 7 W. Parallel to but about 50 miles west of the Kermadecs

Now, day 7 it's:
807 miles so far (day 5-7, 285 miles, daily average 103 miles (corrected for the 6 hours missing to make up exact 24 hour slots). 290 miles to go.
Position: 26, 13, 3, S and 176, 02, 2 W.

We actually haven't decided where to clear in yet, we have the options of either Nukualoafa, Lifuka (Ha'apai), or right up to Vava'u. We'll make the decision when we're closer and it will depend on weather among other things. The 290 miles to go is to Tongatapu. Vava'u is obviously longer than that.
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