Feelin’ Groovy – passage to New Zealand

“Slow down you move too fast,you’ve got to make the moment last…” Well, it seems that someone wanted to send us that message. After boarding the Vava’u – Opua one-way express and finding ourselves rocketing along for three days, that same someone decided to throw a switch and we came to a grinding halt.

It’s a strange mixture of emotions – on the one hand disappointment that our forward momentum is seriously curtailed, but on the other a kind of relief to be able to get some respite from the slamming and banging and bouncing and cursing.

So here we are on Day 5 of our passage to New Zealand, doing the equivalent of a sedate trot in a horse and carriage, both iron sails working and nary a breath of wind to be seen. It’s a big blue wasteland out here, and it’s a bit lonely being at the back of the pack. No other ships, no dolphins, no whales. just the occasional jellyfish floating past and the odd basking shark on the surface. Even the radio is silent, with the SSB net operators hanging up their headphones for the season. Geez, it’s not much fun coming last!!

Last night before the wind completely died we worked hard trying to get any kind of decent angle to sail – the fickle wind danced around the compass, giving us plenty of work. I particularly hate the graveyard shift from 2-5am, and true to form last night it was miserable. I spent the whole three hours gybing to and fro, furling and unfurling the jib, tweaking everything I could, all in miserable driving rain. But today the sun came out and the wind died completely so we had an enforced day of rest with no sail trim to worry about. We spent the day reading, doing small boat jobs, blowing out the fresh water hoses of all the sediment that got stirred up during our three days of bashing and crashing, marvelling at the sea birds swooping and soaring over the water like slalom skiers, and generally being happy to be out here on the water. Oh, and having a long overdue shower!

Bob has told us that the wind should return in the early hours of tomorrow morning, so we’re hoping he’s on the money because the drone of the engines is starting to get a bit wearing…

with any luck we should be making landfall in New Zealand late Fri 11th or early Sat 12th. I’m starting to get excited about all the goodies we’ve been missing – fresh orange juice, green vegetables, any kind of recognisable meat, decent cereal…the list goes on. Oh, and we may need to stock up on some more wine and beer, the ships’ stores are getting perilously low….”warning Will Robinson, warning”….

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