8 June 2009

On the high seas

The first days and nights after our departure from nelson we have too light winds. Near Separation Point we are twice surrounded by a pod of dolphins and later on we see the sun sinking behind Farewell Spit. We have to use the engine quite often, but slowly we can pick up some wind along the westcoast of the North Island. The Three Kings are the last and most northerly islands of New Zealand and then we sail into the Pacific Ocean again. We hoist the reacher, a big headsail for light winds, but we like to have a little more wind to speed up a bit. We have had it. From Friday till Sunday we encountered the passing of warm and cold fronts and a new born low pressure system. The winds are on the nose and exceeded 30 knots. You can hear and feel all powers of nature on and through the boat. With a speed of 8-plus knots you thunder through the water, but life onboard all afternoon is not comfortable any more: the boat heals over, is smashing on waves every now and then and there is a constant beating against the wind. Sleeping is also over and the violence and night seem to last forever. Monday at 12.00 p.m. there is a sudden silence, the speed is gone and we are rocking on a disturbed sea. We remove the double reef from main and jib and set for normal sailing again. It takes all afternoon to quiten the sea a little but we can walk again and eat something. Then there is a change of plans: we are heading for New Caledonia! Slideshow High Seas