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!
Lewis & Alyssa
31 October, 2017
-Pomare Bay, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand
Fiji to New Zealand 2017 Passage Summary:
Waitui Kelekele Marina, Savusavu, Fiji
16 46.618 S, 179 19.755 E
Bay of Islands Marina, Opua, New Zealand
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 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
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