If patience is a virtue, we must be approaching sainthood by now. It’s been a month of waiting for a weather window, a month since Geoff and Scottie arrived. Sadly Scottie ran out of time due to his other commitments, and has had to return home, so it’s back to Threecans again.Meanwhile, boats have been leaving in desperation, only to return one or two days later with broken gear and stories of wild weather. It’s proving to be a brutal place to get out of, and this is certainly the longest we’ve had to wait for a weather window.
The good news is that finally (FINALLY!) it looks like we have a few days of reasonable weather in order to get far enough north to avoid the worst of the lows marching across the Tasman. Not wanting to jinx ourselves we’ve been holding our breath and keeping our fingers crossed behind our backs, but yesterday we took the plunge and cleared out, along with a swathe of other boats, some heading to Fiji like us, others going to Vanuatu and New Caledonia, but all hoping to escape the cold weather. A second group have decided to stay a few more days, so there’ll be a steady stream of yachts making their way North for the next couple of weeks.
What I can’t figure out, is if we’ve been waiting this long we should be well and truly prepared and there shouldn’t be a last-minute rush. But there always is. To be fair, the final provisioning has to be done at the last minute, as does filling the fuel and water tanks. But last minute jobs have a way of popping up at the last minute, creating a certain amount of tension on board. The queue for the fuel dock was very long yesterday so we didn’t end up getting away until 3.30pm. We also had the small matter of loading three boxes of ladies underwear onboard – donations for cyclone-afflicted villages in Fiji. I’m not quite sure how we go about distributing those, but no doubt it will be an amusing story!
After 3 days of hanging off the anchor in 30 kts, (the same system that caused so many problems along the eastern seaboard in Australia and Tasmania a few days ago) it was a relief when the wind died yesterday, but unfortunately the NE swell was still very large. We poked our nose out into the Bay of Islands and encountered 2-3 metres and very little wind, so we decided it might be prudent to rest up and wait for the swell to subside. We enjoyed a quiet night and this morning dawned clear and bright – what is that strange yellow orb in the sky?!
So we’re on our way with a reasonable forecast – light to start with, then increasing to 20-30kts on Monday and Tuesday as we ride the edge of the high northwards. If the wind direction favours us, we’re planning on stopping in Minerva Reef for a day or two before heading on to Fiji. Hopefully it’s a great trip, and we’re looking forward to getting back into T-shirts and shorts before too long!