Fiji – New Zealand – Day 5

We are only 350 miles NNW of the North Cape of NZ. We have sailed 168 miles in the past 24 hours covering a rhumb line distance of 160nm. The major issue is that we have only sailed 100 miles closer to our destination. These headwinds are killing me! They are seriously testing my resolve. They are only about 10-12 knots true so when I sail into them the wind comes forward the beam and we sail west….umm…trying to go SOUTH here wind..  We are less than a day away from Norfolk Island now and the weather Gods apparently want us to visit. I could motor towards NZ at 5.5 knots and burn fuel – we do have enough. But I’m a sailor and don’t care to breathe diesel so we continue to sail west-south-west. I guess a glimpse of the tall pines on Norfolk Island wouldn’t be a bad detour right?

I must be getting exhausted because I have managed to hurt myself twice in the past 12 hours. Last night while battling the abovementioned bastard headwinds I dropped the main when the wind dropped and the sails started flogging. Of course an hour later the wind was back so I clipped in and went to raise the main. With no sail up the boat was doing a bit of quick rocking up and down, side to side and in the process was throwing the halyard lines all over the rig before I could tighten them. Well, sure enough they wrapped around the spreaders and were stuck pretty well. I climbed up the first few mast steps and was holding on to the mast with my right arm and yanking on the halyard with my left. A larger set of waves hit our beam and threw me to port. As I was swinging to port I let go of the halyard and grabbed anything I could. Well, I grabbed the smallest line on the rig – the flag halyard – and it of course ripped the grommet out of the flag and the grommet came at my hand at 200 miles per hour and left quite a bruised knuckle. After grabbing the flag halyard I managed to stop myself from falling to the deck, but just barely. I was pretty annoyed so I continued untangling the halyard from the spreader – this time from deck level – a much smarter idea. Then I locked the halyard off to the base of the mast and resolved myself to motoring for the next few hours.

Then this morning I was at it again – raising the main. Under similar circumstances I was clipping the halyard to the top of the mainsail but then fell off balance and fell jamming my big toe in the process. What is it with fingers and toes anyway??  I’m a mess, I know.  I need to be more patient and careful out here or next it could be more serious than fingers and toes.

We are so painfully close to the middle of this high. It seems like it stalled a bit near us and has been sending southerly winds for what feels like an eternity. The GRIBS are calling for an easterly shift tonight before they die down. Then by tomorrow afternoon we SHOULD see wind from the NORTH!  That means we can finally sail SOUTH! Now, wouldn’t that be nice??  If the forecast is correct these are the last headwinds we should encounter on this voyage. We should be sailing into the Bay of Islands with winds from behind. I’m feeling spinnaker! Then wing-on-wing!  Oh ya babay!!

Thanks for letting me vent. I’m not really complaining as the weather is still very nice out here. It’s just frustrating that I can’t sail where I want to go!

Still looking like a Saturday morning arrival. That’s three days from now. We are getting excited to be in soon. Hopefully the next update is with winds from aft!

*** Midnight Update: CALMS! CALMS! We made it into the middle of the high! Engines pushed hard and moving at 6.3 knots SOUTH! It’s freezing and my big bruised fingers are numb! Alyssa originally ridiculed me for being dramatic about a “little cute grommet that hit my pretty finger” but she is now quite impressed with the damaged inflicted by said cute grommet. I’ll live, don’t worry ;-) Keep the positive thoughts coming our way so our engines keep cranking to get us to the other side of this calm and find us some tailwinds!!  New Zealand here we come! ***

L&A

South Pacific Ocean
11/9
02:21 UTC
28 49 S, 171 02 E
225 T
6.6 KTS SOG

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