We set out from the Bay of Islands on Wednesday, deciding that tacking back and forth in the ocean sounded way more fun then sitting at anchor in Opua and risking another low rolling through. We woke up early for our appointment with customs, got our duty free liquor, filled up with diesel, and scrubbed the bottom of the boat. It was nearly 6:00PM by the time we hoisted sails and pointed the bow North towards Fiji.
The first few hours were a motorboat ride but it wasn’t long until a light Westerly filled the sails and we shut the engine down. We weren’t breaking any speed records making 4 knots in 6 knots of breeze but we were sailing and on our way! This lasted through the night until the breeze completely shut off in the morning and we wallowed in the swells before motoring for another few hours.
Around noon a Northerly rolled in as predicted and we’ve been battling with it ever since. It seems that NZ doesn’t want us to get too far away and is pulling out all the tricks to bring us back. The wind will shift to the North East and we’ll get excited, set our sails, and tack. Soon enough it will back to the North and we’ll find ourselves headed towards Tahiti. Another few hours and we’ll repeat the same drill with a North West shift, only to find ourselves headed somewhere between New Caldonia and Australia.
The ride hasn’t been the smoothest beating into 20+ knots but Delos and crew are holding up well. Keeping boat speed under control has been key, otherwise we slam into approaching waves with a sickening THUMP that rattles the whole boat. We’re well fed and it’s not as cold as anticipated, probably due to the warmer North winds from the tropics.
We’ve been reading, sleeping, and listening to music. But mostly sleeping. There seems to be no end to how much sleep you want while on passage. I don’t know if it’s the rough conditions or altered schedule but sleep is your friend. With the conditions like they are sometimes it’s impossible to do anything more. We’ve been eating well from our provisions of frozen and canned foods.
In the last 48 hours we’ve covered a whopping 220 miles, with about 170 of those made good towards our destination. Usually we do 170 miles in a day without breaking a sweat! We’re hoping for a constant shift to the West tomorrow so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.