All posts by El Capitán

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New Zealand to Fiji Passage Summary 2018

We’re back in beautiful Fiji after a seven-day passage from New Zealand to Savusavu!  Quixotic did great on the passage and she saw us across that nasty stretch of water safely and without breakage or incident.  The weather is always the wild card on this passage but five out of the seven days were idyllic sailing and the other two were tough beats, but we all took our licks and made it safely to the other side in great shape.  This year the seas were much calmer than the same passage at the same time last year, so for that we are grateful for Neptune’s grace.

By 1600 on Saturday we had managed to clear out of the country, take on GST-exempt fuel, snag a few last minute ankle bites from those midges that we will miss dearly, and set sail into the open ocean bound for Fiji, 1,200 miles to the north.  The first night was windy and on the nose with the familiar pounding and slamming that comes with driving a cat hard into the seas.  Thankfully on the second day, sunrise brought some more orderly seas and the wind started to clock around onto our beam.  We sailed NE with as much canvas as possible; we were trying to get away from the NZ coast as quickly as possible before the arrival of a NW front on Monday.  By Monday afternoon we had made 400 miles and we were clear of the oncoming storm.  Monday night we sailed on the edge of the NW front with a nice steady breeze in the high teens.

Tuesday morning we were becalmed and gladly fired up the iron genoa and motored over clam glassy seas for the next 36 hours.  It was wonderful to relax and be so comfortable while making miles!  We had showers, baked some pizza, watched an amazing sunset, and just enjoyed this gift from the weather Gods.  We used the calm seas to make some more easting in anticipation of reaching the other side of the high the next day and with it, the building easterlies.  We were also trying to make Minerva Reef, a mid-ocean atoll that is used as a storm refuge in rough seas.  And the weather fax was calling for some very strong reinforced trades in the 25-30 knot range over Minvera on the weekend, so we wanted to try our best to get in before the winds built.

By Wednesday night and into Thursday morning we were met with quickly building easterlies that came up to 20-23 knots overnight.  We spent Thursday morning bashing hard into 7-10 foot waves trying to push us back and away from the safe haven of Minerva.  It was a tough bash but Quixotic is tougher then her crew so we tried our best to hang on while she battled it out with the seas and ultimately made ground to windward.  By 1000 we had reached the lee of North Minerva Reef and relief was quickly replaced by the excited anticipation of entering a small pass in a mid-ocean reef.  There was 3 knots ebbing from the lagoon and mixing with the confused seas outside the lagoon, but with the trusty Mermaid on the bow guiding us in, we slipped inside the reef and were immediately relieved from the rocking and pitching motion of the offshore sea state.  We motored the three miles across the lagoon and set the hook hard in 40 feet of pure white sand just behind the substantial barrier reef that was doing a great job of breaking the seas in all but high tide, when the ‘popple’ comes over the reef and rocks us around a bit.

The next two days were spent watching the weather and the anchor position while winds to 35 knots and driving rain pounded the reef.  On the third day the skies cleared and the trades returned to a lovely 16-18 knots.  Out came the new windsurfing rig for an idyllic and magical sail through some of the most beautiful hues of blue and turquoise I have ever seen.  We relaxed and also visited with the two other catamarans here that had also sought shelter from the weather.  The next day the forecast looked promising so we set sail for the last 450 miles to Savusavu, Fiji.

The last two days were good sailing over typical heavy trade wind seas just aft the beam with apparent winds in the high teens also just aft the beam the whole way in.  We sailed the last 450 miles in 2 days and 7 hours.  The last few hours were spent surfing at 10-13 knots with full genoa and both engines cranking away; a very fun sleigh ride into Savusavu Bay.  We grabbed our mooring just in time to soak in a beautiful Savusavu sunset and reflect on a successful passage.

We had a great summer in New Zealand refitting and upgrading Quixotic and we are excited to start the 2018 charter season up here in beautiful and remote northern Fiji!  We look forward to welcoming all of our guests aboard soon!

Lewis & Alyssa

-Buca Bay, Vanua Levu, Fiji

 

Passage Stats:

Fiji to New Zealand 2018 Passage Summary:

Departed:

Bay of Islands Marina, Opua, New Zealand

35 18.815 S; 174 07.323 E

14/04/2018

16:00 local

 Arrived:

Waitui Kelekele Marina, Savusavu, Fiji

16 46.618 S, 179 19.755 E

25/04/2018

17:30 local

Total miles sailed: 1,310 NM

Rhumbline distance: 1,115 NM

Total elapsed time: 7 days, 1 hours, 30 minutes

Average speed: 7.7 Knots

Top Speed: 14.9 Knots

Average miles sailed per day: 186 NM

Average rhumbline distance per day: 158 NM

Total engine run time: 110 hours (67% of total passage time)

Average RPM: 2100

Fuel consumed: 100 gallons

GPH: 1.1

Fuel remaining aboard at arrival: 50 gallons

Propellers used: Bruntons Autoprops

Water tankage at departure: 120 gallons

Water consumed on passage: 90 gallons

Water desalinated at Minerva: 40 gallons

Water remaining at arrival: 15 gallons

Average wind speed: 16 knots

Lowest wind speed: 2 knots

Highest wind speed: 36 knots

Average swell wave height: 1.5m

Highest estimated swell height: 3.2m

Average wind wave height: 1.0m

Highest estimated wind wave height: 2.2m

Breakages: None

Small Issues: None

Air temp on departure: 62 F

Air temp on arrival: 87 F

Sea temp on departure: 63 F

Sea temp on arrival: 83 F

Total mutiny/arguments amongst crew: 0

Estimated number of times the bridgedeck slammed/bombed: a lot

Fish caught: None; but lost two hand lines to very large mystery fish

Number of Squid we had to pry off the deck: 2

Number of Fish that flew into Alyssa while on watch: 0 but one near miss and into helm seat

 

And we're off!
And we’re off!

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Pizza night at sea!
Pizza night at sea!
Finally! We found 'becalmed'...
Finally! We found ‘becalmed’…
...so we relaxed a little...
…so we relaxed a little…
...but it was short lived and we soon found the trades!
…but it was short lived and we soon found the trades!
... and the sunsets just kept getting better!
… and the sunsets just kept getting better!

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Anchor down in Minerva Reef!
Anchor down in Minerva Reef!
Angry skies while riding out the blow in Minerva
Angry skies while riding out the blow in Minerva
Roughin' it and waiting for the squalls to pass.  Two catamarans in background are identical Antares 44's - 'Golden Glow' and 'Exit Strategy'
Roughin’ it and waiting for the squalls to pass. Two catamarans in background are identical Antares 44’s – ‘Golden Glow’ and ‘Exit Strategy’
Windsurfing a mid-ocean reef - check!
Windsurfing a mid-ocean reef – check!

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Oh, that's right, it's the NZ to Fiji passage!  I almost forgot!
Oh, that’s right, it’s the NZ to Fiji passage! I almost forgot!

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Grabbed the mooring just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset over Savusavu Bay.  Another successful passage.
Grabbed the mooring just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset over Savusavu Bay. Another successful passage.




 

 

Happy to be anchored inside the relative protection of Minerva!

Our Silent Ally – A Review of the Spade Anchor – From Minerva Atoll

There are some pieces of gear that work so well that after a while you begin to take them for granted. Such is the case with our Spade Anchor. But every so often, we are reminded just how well it works.

After sailing north five days out of New Zealand, we sought protection from the wind and seas at a mid-ocean circular reef system named Minerva.  For the past 24 hours we have been riding out the reinforced SE trade winds tucked behind a thin strip of coral that breaks most of the brunt of the 3+ meter swell that is punishing the outer reef.  We are anchored in 13 meters, sand, with 50 meters of chain out.  At the end of our chain, buried deep in the sand, lies our trusty ally, and perhaps most important piece of gear in times such as these, our beloved Spade Anchor.  While our catamaran (a Voyage 430) dances and pulls at her gear in the 25 knot winds, and the breaking wind waves bounce her around while tearing past her hulls, we take solace in the fact that the Spade Anchor has not moved since we set it a day ago.  We love our anchor and we aren’t shy about it!  Without the best anchor, you would be constantly worried about dragging across the lagoon and would not get the much-needed rest that we were able to get last night.

For the past couple months there have been a few memorable occasions where the conditions have deteriorated, and the wind starts howling in the rigging.  There’s always a tinge of apprehension about the ground tackle holding us in place; but to our relief, our anchor stays firmly set and silently protects us from the conditions.  Did we mention how much we love this anchor??

So, just what is a Spade Anchor?  Spade Anchor was designed by a French company and the anchor is built in Tunisia.  The anchor is a concave scoop shape with a sharp tip.  The construction is of galvanized steel. The anchor is unique in that it has molten lead poured into the tip; this allows the anchor to keep burying deep into the substrate, always falls correctly, and will stay set if pulled 180 degrees.  The absence of a roll bar is an advantage so that when the anchor is pulled hard and starts to disappear below the substrate, the Spade can keep on digging in without the resistance of the roll bar pulling the tip upwards.  The other advantage is that it’s less likely to foul (or pickup) whatever is down there such as grass, seaweed, lines, etc.

I really enjoy diving on the anchor after a strong blow.  I follow the chain to the anchor but all I see is the chain buried into the sand; no anchor in sight!  I smile because I know the spade is set deep and won’t be coming out until we are ready to move on.

We loved our Spade Anchor on our last boat; we love our Spade Anchor aboard now; and we will have another one on our next. In full disclosure, we are sponsored by Spade Anchor, but even if the Company didn’t sponsor us, we still would have bought the anchor. It’s simply the best anchor we’ve ever used and we trust it.

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Happy to be anchored inside the relative protection of Minerva!
Happy to be anchored inside the relative protection of Minerva!
Happy to have our trusty Spade anchor set well and holding strong!
Happy to have our trusty Spade anchor set well and holding strong!
...and the wind waves go flying past!
…and the wind waves go flying past!
...even when the winds pipe up above 30 knots!
…even when the winds pipe up above 30 knots!

More Information on the Spade Anchor at the link below:

http://www.spade-anchor.com/-Spade-Anchor-.html

 

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Exploring Picturesque Cape Brett, Bay of Islands, NZ

This coastline is stunning!  As beautiful and rugged as the Big Sur coast is back home, we both voted and this stretch of coastline beats it.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Great hike in the morning followed by and afternoon of boat projects.  We have at least another few days of boat labor before we feel ready for the crossing up to Fiji.  Watching weather closely to find a window to sail north.  Fiji is getting drenched this week under the very active SPCZ with a few cyclones thrown in for fun. Hope everyone up there stays safe in the deluge!

Salud,

L&A

Deepwater Cove, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

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Archway Island on the southern end of the Poor Knights

Sailing and Diving the Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand

After heading back into Whangarei to have a new floor welded on our stainless diesel tank, we managed to escape and headed back out for more exploration!  A morning hike out to Bream Head was followed by an afternoon sail to Tutukaka for the night.  The next morning we set sail for the Poor Knights Islands, a marine preserve located 12nm offshore.  After sailing past what we have been told is the largest sea arch in the southern hemisphere we dropped anchor in the lee of Aorangi Island, within spitting distance of the rocky cliff face.  Some future charter guests arrived and rafted to Quixotic.  We all donned dive gear to explore the beautiful kelp forests and swim with the schools of fish that are lucky to call this place home. After the dive, and a delicious lunch on Quixotic, we all toured an enormous sea cave (we’ve been told it’s the largest in the world) that you could almost fit a small cruise ship inside!

The afternoon saw us sailing north to Whangamumu Harbour, where we are currently anchored.  Looks like we will sail north in a day or two back into the Bay of Islands to finish passage prep for the sail north back to Fiji.

Hope everyone is having a nice long holiday weekend!

Lewis & Alyssa

Anchored in Urquharts Bay, in what was once a big volcanic caldera
Anchored in Urquharts Bay, in what was once a big volcanic caldera
Smugglers Cove
Smugglers Cove
Bream Head
Bream Head
Archway Island on the southern end of the Poor Knights
Archway Island on the southern end of the Poor Knights

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Clean bottom!  And our Fijian keel is still looking good and going strong!
Clean bottom! And our Fijian keel is still looking good and going strong!
The first time in over a year I have gone diving for fun and not boat maintenance!
The first time in over a year I have gone diving for fun and not boat maintenance!
The entrance to the "world's largest" sea cave named Rikoriko
The entrance to the “world’s largest” sea cave named Rikoriko
View from inside looking out
View from inside looking out

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Sailing north with the Poor Knights in our wake
Sailing north with the Poor Knights in our wake
Quixotic at rest in Whangamumu Harbour
Quixotic at rest in Whangamumu Harbour
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Mermaids and Waterfalls on Great Barrier Island

The title of this post just described the recipe for a perfect day on Great Barrier Island.  A 7km hike up to the natural hot springs followed by a hike up a treacherous trail with very slippery mud and moss to reach the ultimate payoff: a secluded picturesque waterfall.  Despite the freezing cold water, and the fact that we didn’t even get in the hot springs, we both jumped in for an invigorating dip under the falls.  The afternoon came to a close with a stroll back to Great Barrier Lodge for an afternoon dessert on the patio overlooking Quixotic riding peacefully to her anchor.  What an awesome day!

Reluctantly sailing back to Whangarei tomorrow for some last-minute repairs and to buy some additional spares before sailing north back to Fiji in a few weeks.  It’s been amazing out here and it won’t be the last time we visit.

Stay tuned for an incredible video of dolphins riding our bow wake and for passage prep updates!

Lew & Lyss

Whangaparapara Bay, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

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Bioluminescence Ballet and Exploring the Barrier

We just witnessed one of the most amazing natural scenes.  Tonight we turned on the blue underwater lights that usually draw fish to the boat.  We knew this bay was extremely healthy and full of fish but we had no idea of the scale that would be drawn under the boat.  We went outside around 10pm and hundreds of fish were schooling under the boat,  There were smaller schools around the boat that were just outside the blue underwater lights but were illuminated by natural bioluminescence.  We watched in awe as the schools danced a ballet and the smaller schools would blow apart and come back together as they were hunted by predator fish.  We extinguished our lights and continued watching in awe as the captivating bioluminescence fanned out into ever smaller schools as the fish  very slowly dispersed.  One of the most magnificent natural events I have ever been fortunate enough to witness.  And the icing was the glassy conditions, kiwis calling from the hills, the clear sky and thousands of stars, as Great Barrier Island is a dark sky sanctuary.

I think we will stay here a while longer.  We summited Hirakimata (Mt. Hobson) yesterday with new friends Ben and Ashley (s/v Nahoa) and there are a few more trails to conquer.  Oh, and those natural hot springs are calling our name..

22 March 2018

Port Fitzroy Harbour, Great Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

36°12’13.7″S 175°20’26.0″E

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New QUIXOTIC hats and logowear for the 2018 charter season!

Splashed!! QUIXOTIC 2018 Refit Recap

After months of hard work, late nights, stress, a pile of cash and heaps of sweat-equity, Quixotic is back in the water and ready to sail north back to the islands.  She just spent the past four months in a specialized catamaran boatyard undergoing some repair and upgrades.  We had our fair share of challenges, triumphs, setbacks and achievements but in the end more things went right than wrong and last Saturday we lowered her keels back into the Whangarei river in New Zealand and order was restored.

We are now enjoying our first night at anchor since lifting out in November; it feels amazing to be swinging on the hook again!  Our view has been transformed from boatyard to lush green rolling hills set above  glistening turquoise water framed by white sand beach.  Tomorrow we sail for Great Barrier Island for some much-needed and well-deserved rest and exploration.  We still have some items on the never-ending “to-do” list, but we can now chip away at a more relaxed pace than the unsustainable pace we set in the boatyard.

Quixotic is in the best condition she has ever been in.  We completed an extensive refit and made some structural and safety upgrades to her hull and rudders.  We also completely upgraded her charging and electrical system with help from Scott at Empower Electrical and his apprentice, non other than Laura Dekker – the world record holder for being the youngest person to sail solo around the world!  It was really cool to have her aboard and get to know her.  While the list of upgrades is extensive and would fill multiple blog entries, here are just a few I can recall off the top of my head:

  • Drop rudders, cut open and fully-inspect shaft and internal stainless, re-install and re-grease
  • Inspect and weld stainless skeg heel fittings, grease and re-install
  • Reinforce skegs with multiple layers of new epoxy and fiberglass
  • Clean, and rebuild props and change zincs
  • Install new stainless swim ladder
  • Upgrade block for boom crane
  • Replace all bearings in main traveller
  • Install new scoop intake thru-hull for watermaker
  • Seal access ports on swim step
  • Remove stainless water tank, weld new floor, re-install
  • New LPG regulator, pigtails and tanks
  • Epoxy seal and paint port engine bilge
  • Epoxy seal and paint around both rudder quadrants
  • Epoxy paint starboard engine room
  • Sand and apply five new coats ablative antifouling to bottom
  • Re-seal entire rub rail with 3M UV4000 sealant
  • Replace hose into starboard water heater
  • New port water heater
  • Re-bed liferaft hatch
  • Re-bed portlight in port forward head
  • Remove sails, take to loft, inspect and minor repairs, new bolt rope and new battens
  • New fresh water pump
  • Install new 300AH Lithium battery bank with BMS (Battery Management System) (Sinopoly Cells with Orion Jr. BMS)
  • Install twin Balmar 614 smart alternator regulators and valeo alternator upgrade kits
  • Install new Balmar “Centerfielder II” to balance twin engine charging
  • Completely replace and upgrade all main battery and charging cables with tinned marine-grade 70mm cable
  • New charge and discharge bus bars with auto ON/OFF remotely controlled by BMS
  • Pull all old wires behind nav station
  • Replace DC cables for inverter and install inverter auto cut-out switch controlled remotely by the BMS
  • Remove all genset wiring (with 250A charge capacity, who needs a noisy, smelly, genset!)
  • Install fuses to all main busbar wiring
  • Install Yanmar wiring harness amplifiers
  • Fabricate a new stainless emergency steering tiller
  • Aluminum weld line chalk on boom and main grab rails on swim step
  • Replace engine belts
  • Rebuild engine raw water pumps (bearings, seals, impellers)
  • Replace engine air filters
  • Replace saildrive fluid
  • Inspect 316ss anchor chain
  • Service and grease all seacocks and clear intakes
  • and many more items that we are now forgetting…

Time to string the hammock and ease back into the good life.  That “to-do” list can wait until mañana :)

Lewis & Alyssa

-Urquharts Bay, Whangarei, New Zealand

She was a painting machine!
She was a painting machine!
One of the many coats of new antifouling paint
One of the many coats of new antifouling paint
Scott from Empower Electrical installing the new lithium battery bank
Scott from Empower Electrical installing the new lithium battery bank
The famous Laura Dekker; head buried under our nav table installing the new charging system
The famous Laura Dekker; head buried under our nav table installing the new charging system
New rudders all greased up and ready to install
New rudders all greased up and ready to install
Lifting her up to fit the rudders
Lifting her up to fit the rudders
Installing the starboard skeg heel fitting
Installing the starboard skeg heel fitting
The Mermaid carefully installing the rudder heel fittings
The Mermaid carefully installing the rudder heel fittings
New rudders and heel fittings all installed and ready for action
New rudders and heel fittings all installed and ready for action
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New QUIXOTIC hats and logowear for the 2018 charter season!

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Ahhh....back at anchor!
Ahhh….back at anchor!

 

And she's out!

Kia Ora from New Zealand! We’re Hauled Out! + Pictures

Kia Ora!  Coming to you live from New Zealand, 15 feet above sea level, aboard the good ship Quixotic: Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family!

We have so much to be thankful for this year.  Thank you to all our amazing family and friends for all their love and support.  Thank you to all our amazing guests who have helped make Quixotic Charters an amazing success in only the first year.   We are thankful for our health and well-being.  And lastly, we are thankful for the amazing vessel Quixotic, for taking care of us and seeing us safely through rough seas and across oceans and for being our luxurious private floating island.

After arriving in New Zealand almost a month ago, we spent some time exploring the North Island; hiking, glamping, exploring.  Then we set sail down the coast and linked up with friends along the way exploring hidden bays and hiking some amazing terrain.  Then we spent about five days docked downtown in the Whangarei town basin getting our fill of city life.  Now we find ourselves hauled out at Norsand Boatyard, where Quixotic will be for the next few months as we travel back to the states for an overdue visit with family.

The haul out went well and we are now scrutinizing every inch of Quixotic for any sign of stress or fatigue after beating her up over the past year and a half since launching in Fiji.  But all is going well and Quixotic will leave here in phenomenal condition once again and ready for the 2018 charter season!

Happy Thanksgiving to our family and amigos back in the states.  See you guys soon.

Lewis & Alyssa

24 November 2017

Norsand Boatyard, Whangarei, New Zealand

At the peak of St. Pauls rock
At the peak of St. Pauls rock
Hammock time on a private peninsula above Whangaroa Harbour
Hammock time on a private peninsula above Whangaroa Harbour
Check out this cool leaf insect!
Check out this cool leaf insect!
Thanks again Simon for lending us your very fun M1!
Thanks again Simon for lending us your very fun M1!
Falls on the Kerikeri river
Falls on the Kerikeri river
Fresh oysters at the Old Packhouse Farmers Market, Kerikeri
Fresh oysters at the Old Packhouse Farmers Market, Kerikeri
Happy girl on the Kerikeri river
Happy girl on the Kerikeri river
Fun with friends Jose and Owen in the Bay of Islands
Fun with friends Jose and Owen in the Bay of Islands
Sunset over Whangaruru Bay
Sunset over Whangaruru Bay
It was really nice to finally have a competent boat yard in charge of the haul out!
It was really nice to finally have a competent boat yard in charge of the haul out!
And she's out!
And she’s out!
FINALLY - Someone else gets to clean the hull!
FINALLY – Someone else gets to clean the hull!
They lifted her up high enough to drop both rudders out.  They said they were the best supported rudders of any catamaran they have ever seen!
They lifted her up high enough to drop both rudders out. They said they were the best supported rudders of any catamaran they have ever seen!
Where we are now. A quiet nice little corner with a view of the mountains and the river. It even has a nice little picnic table in the grass nearby.
Where we are now. A quiet nice little corner with a view of the mountains and the river. It even has a nice little picnic table in the grass nearby.
I was determined to find a tiny leak that was finding its way in.  We used a vacuum pump and green food coloring in fresh water to find it and it's now dry and will be re-glassed when we return. 100% dry hull again!
I was determined to find a tiny leak that was finding its way in. We used a vacuum pump and green food coloring in fresh water to find it and it’s now dry and will be re-glassed when we return. 100% dry hull again!
Mermaid in her riding gear. Vacuum pump on the skeg in the background.
Mermaid in her riding gear. Vacuum pump on the skeg in the background.
We bought a scooter!  "Traded the van for it, straight up" - We have been making a lot of dumb and dumber jokes. But it's great for getting to the gym and back!
We bought a scooter! “Traded the van for it, straight up” – We have been making a lot of dumb and dumber jokes. But it’s great for getting to the gym and back!
Q blasting her way south for the summer!

Fiji to New Zealand Passage Summary 2017 – Catamaran Surfing!!

We’re back in New Zealand for the summer!  QUIXOTIC made a fast, successful passage from Savusavu, Fiji to Opua, New Zealand in 6 days, 21 hours and 30 minutes.  The first day out was a fast sail with stiff trades on the beam; the second day out was a calm motor-sail south into rain and convection; the third day brought rough seas with 25-30 kt winds as we battled a stronger than forecast frontal system that we ended up having to run from for 6 hours before resuming our southbound progress; the fourth day we fought our way into the high pressure system and tried our best to put distance between us and the front as we bashed south; the fifth and sixth days brought sunshine and was spirited sailing with consistent wind on the beam and just enough seas to keep us on edge; and the final 21 hour stretch was some of the most exciting sailing we have ever had, with long high-speed surfs, topping out at a new record speed of 15.6 knots!

QUIXOTIC did an amazing job and completed the passage without any major breakage, the only casualty being a ripped window shade covering on the front of the salon.  There was also a half dozen squid stuck all over her decks; oh, and Alyssa got nailed right in the chest by a flying fish while sitting at the helm!

By the way, as you will note below, we ran the engines almost the entire time.  This allowed us to make the most speed, keep the batteries charged up, and also allowed us to sail with much reduced canvas allowing for care-free nighttime transiting of squalls and wind shifts.  It was the lazy sailors approach but worked well for us as it put much less stress on the rig and on the crew.  Diesel is cheap but rigs are expensive!

But what a difference a year makes as the last time we sailed her down she was just being tested and now she completes one of the most notorious passages in the world without breaking a sweat!

It’s great to be back in New Zealand.  It’s cold, it’s beautiful, the grocery selection is amazing, and we can’t wait to go hiking this afternoon.  We plan to cruise the Bay of Islands for a few weeks before sailing down to Whangarei to haul QUIXOTIC out of the water for some much-deserved rest and minor refitting and upgrades.

Here are some pictures and stats from the passage.  Hope everyone is having a great day!

Cheers,

Lewis & Alyssa

31 October, 2017

-Pomare Bay, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand

 

Fiji to New Zealand 2017 Passage Summary:

Departed:

Waitui Kelekele Marina, Savusavu, Fiji

16 46.618 S, 179 19.755 E

23/10/2017

10:30 local

 

Arrived:

Bay of Islands Marina, Opua, New Zealand

30/10/2017

07:00 local

 

Total miles sailed: 1,290 NM

Rhumbline distance: 1,147 NM

 

Total elapsed time: 6 days, 21 hours, 30 minutes

 

Average speed: 7.8 Knots

Top Speed: 15.6 Knots

 

Average miles sailed per day: 187 NM

Average rhumbline distance per day: 166 NM

 

Total engine run time: 155 hours (94% of total passage time)

Average RPM: 1800

Fuel consumed: 145 gallons

GPH: 1.07

GPH per engine: 0.54

Fuel remaining aboard at arrival: 55 gallons

Propellers used: Bruntons Autoprops

 

Water tankage at departure: 120 gallons

Water consumed on passage: 110 gallons

Water desalinated on passage: None

Water remaining at arrival: 10 gallons

 

Average wind speed: 18 knots

Lowest wind speed: 6 knots

Highest wind speed: 30 knots

 

Average swell wave height: 1.8m

Highest estimated swell height: 3.5m

Average wind wave height: 1.6m

Highest estimated wind wave height: 3.3m

 

Total (estimated) accumulated duration of squalls/rain: 36 hours

 

Breakages: None

Small Issues: Torn window shade/cover from breaking/boarding seas

 

Air temp on departure: 88 F

Air temp on arrival: 62 F

 

Sea temp on departure: 83 F

Sea temp on arrival: 54 F

 

Total mutiny/arguments amongst crew: 0

 

Estimated number of times the bridgedeck slammed/bombed: a lot

 

Fish caught: Didn’t fish

Number of Squid we had to pry off the deck: 8

Number of Fish that flew into Alyssa while on watch: 1 suicide bomber flying fish

 

Burrrrrr!
Burrrrrr!
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The Mermaid was getting into it!
Watching breaking seas becomes a sailors TV
Watching breaking seas becomes a sailors TV
Q blasting her way south for the summer!
Q blasting her way south for the summer!
Q battling the conditions
Q battling the conditions
Mermaid down!  It got rough and bumpy for 36 hours. Check out the angle on the horizon!
Mermaid down! It got rough and bumpy for 36 hours. Check out the angle on the horizon!
A day out of NZ we came up on an American yacht, s/v Windrose from SF Bay
A day out of NZ we came up on an American yacht, s/v Windrose from SF Bay
Surfing is an amazing feeling on an offshore catamaran!
Surfing is an amazing feeling on an offshore catamaran!
A shot of Quixotic on a pile mooring tucked WAY up the peaceful and protected Kerikeri river for some much deserved R&R
A shot of Quixotic on a pile mooring tucked WAY up the peaceful and protected Kerikeri river for some much deserved R&R
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Mermaid ON Duty – Boatwork in Paradise

Hey everyone!  It’s been a long time since our last update.  All is great in the beautiful Fijian Islands!  We are hiding out in a secret bay just off a black sand beach in the lee of beautiful Taveuni Island.  It’s a gorgeous spot and only rarely visited by a few locals on horseback, who bring their steeds to the beach to cool them off.  We are always improving the comfort aboard so today the Mermaid is tackling cockpit cushions.  They are already amazingly comfortable!  We thought we should share the scene.  My particular favorite is the irony of her t-shirt slogan…..  The second picture is the final product and the background is beautiful Paradise Taveuni Resort.  Cheers!  – L&A

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