We are currently 775 miles N of our destination of Opua, New Zealand. We have sailed 350 miles in the past 49 hours, that’s about 175 miles per day – not too shabby if we may say so. We have tried to slow the boat down but she apparently wants to get to NZ! We had a second reef in the main last night with only 1/3 of jib out and she was still averaging 7.5 knots – upwind! This girl can sail!
Last night was rough again. I think we missed the main convection that was forecast but we caught the wind! We saw lightning in our wake all night so we feel for those boats that are behind us. I’m sure they had an exciting night. As for us, we pounded and slammed our way over the waves and bashed into 20 knots most of the night. It wasn’t very comfortable but it sure was fast!
A fun fact that we figured out was that when we put our dodger up (the window in front of the cockpit) we lose a full knot of speed! When it’s not put in the wind comes over the cabin top and through the slot between the bimini and cabin and allows for more wind flow. We were sailing at 7.5-8.0 knots like this. I then add the dodger to block the wind for the Princess Mermaid’s shift and speed drops to 6.5-7.0 knots. I can only imagine how much harder it is to sail a boxy cat like a Lagoon to windward. They have flat windows that can’t be removed. It must be like having double the amount of dodger material up all the time. Anyway, back to the update:
Today finds us in the rain with sloppy leftover seas. The wind has moved off and we are motor-sailing south at 6 knots with one engine on. I am running the generator and watermaker to fill the main tank. We are down to 1/4 tank on water. Either I didn’t fill it all the way up before leaving (false reading maybe??) or we had a leak. I have since turned off the pressure water breaker and also closed a valve in the engine compartment that supplies the shower on the swim step – I think this could have been our culprit as I saw some water in the bilge of that engine compartment. We will monitor the level more closely. It’s hard to do in rough seas since you have to go forward and open the water locker to visually inspect the gauge. Maybe we can add a remote water level gauge in the salon….I’ll add it to the to-do list as item #152…should get to that around year 2022…
But for now the water level is rising and hopefully I can top it off today so we can resume our luxurious shower schedule. As our friend John on IchiBan would say: “How obnoxious you Mega-Yachters are.” Well, John, weren’t we suppose to drag IchiBan behind us while you lounged in the hammock aboard sipping an ice cold beer after a long hot shower?? Guess we missed ya before leaving. Sorry man! Come see us in Opua and we’ll make things right. btw – Your berth is ready…
The weather forecast is still looking great for us. This rain should move off this evening. A big low is overtaking NZ right now and we should feel some wind out of the N feeding into it. That means light air from behind! Probably not enough to sail but we have diesel so we will motor sail. If we can justify launching the kite I will surely do so. The forecast is calling for light air backing to the NW then SW and S before freshening S, SSE and SE when the high starts to fill in on Monday night/Tuesday AM. Then we will sail close-hauled again to an imaginary waypoint about a day north of the north cape of NZ. That puts us in a favorable position to sail downwind when the high moves off, the wind strengthens from the N and NW, and before the low overtakes us. The plan is to keep up speed and be in the Bay of Islands before we feel any wind from the west. So far its looking good. Keep the weather Gods happy will ya? Thanks
In other news, I am a very lucky man. I have been treated to some gourmet meals out here. Despite the rough weather, the amazing talented Mermaid chef has been cooking up a storm in the galley. Even when it’s rough she grits her teeth and marches on. I keep telling her we don’t need to be so gourmet out here and mac and cheese will do. But she won’t have it. Last night we had Asian stir fry which was awesome. Breakfast is smoothies and egg sandwiches with bacon! There is always a chicken salad or tuna salad for late night snacks. Yes, we’re eating well out here on the ocean. I can hear John rolling his eyes again!! Those dang Mega Yachters! So Annoying!! John – empty berth….why? Don’t worry, I’ll freeze my leftovers for you 😉
Well, that’s the update from today. Hope all is well with all our friends out there. Feel free to drop us a line or two to say hi and let us know how you’re doing and what’s new. Our sailmail address is: [REDACTED]. Remember to send text only and delete any unnecessary text in the email (e.g. don’t hit “reply” to our message and always send a new blank email to us. We receive email over a very slow radio link. JSlove (aka the Asian love Doctor) – email us, I have to ask you something.
Lewis & Alyssa
22 12 S, 174 25E
7.0 KTS SOG