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NZ – Fiji – Passage Update – Day 1 – Happy Easter

Coming to you live from the catamaran QUIXOTIC on her passage north back to the warm waters of Fiji!

All is well. We have sailed 183 miles in the first 24 hours.  We are 174 miles from Cape Brett (Whangarei) and 1,000 miles from our destination of Savusavu, Fiji.  We left Whangarei Harbor at noon and motor-sailed over enormous seas that were kicked up from Cyclone Cook.  The tankers were all anchored outside the harbor as the conditions were too severe across the bar for them to enter.  It was hair-raising going up and over those mountainous swells and eerily reminded us of the scolding we got outside Lono Harbor on Molokai in Hawaii. Luckily, this time they didn’t break..

Yesterday the seas were rough and confused and bouncing off the mainland and all the offshore islands making life uncomfortable. Lots of slamming as we were pounding our way to windward. Seas were much worse yesterday afternoon while making our way offshore – but have eased a bit, which is better.  Wind was fickle yesterday afternoon and into the evening – raise and drop the main numerous times as squalls stole our wind and were forced to motor without sail at times because the cat was jerking in the mixed swell and slamming the sails open/closed.

After enjoying the first unobstructed sunset since the passage to New Zealand, we found steady wind last night from the NW at around 15 knots apparent.  We are sailing close-hauled into it and making 7.5 – 8.0 knots SOG on a course of 35 degrees (NNE – NE).  True wind 11-13 kts.  Full main and full jib with engines on ticking over at 1600 RPM, Apparent Wind Angle (AWA) 45 degrees off the port bow.  Seas have calmed down a lot, which is really nice. The swell is still with us but 10 seconds or so and the wind waves are down to about 7-9 feet.

Happy Easter to all.  The Mermaid is going to be cooking up an Easter Feast this afternoon.  She vetoed my idea of hiding fresh eggs all around the boat – something about the mess…

Cheers,
L&A

16/04/2017
0016 UTC
33 15.1 S, 176 05.9 E
035 T
8.6 KTS
Seas: sloppy – 7-9 ft wind waves mixed with 10-15 ft SE swell
Water temp: 66 (It was 59 when we left – burrrr!!!  Clothing: Last night: Long pants, socks, sweater, windbreaker, full foulies (burrr!!!) Today: Shorts and a sweater

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