Bay of Islands NZ
31.10.2017 – 07:30 UTC+13 ///////// S 35°09 – E 174°10 //// Bay of Islands NZ //// Together with 4 other sailing yachts we enter Bay of Islands in the North of New Zealand. The children finish our last honey which we are not allowed to bring to NZ. //// ETA Opua 9:30 UTC+13
29.10.2017 – 15:30 UTC+13 ///////// S 31°49.28′ – E 176°03.66′ //// Beaufort 5-6 from ENE //// COG 205 //// SOG 6-7 knots //// New Zealand initiation! After a relatively quiet night with drizzle we sailed in the early morning through a nasty front carrying lots of rain. The anemometer showed Beaufort 7 to 8 for about two hours. Waves are high and for the first time since we sail with Kalibu a wave entered our cockpit. We had a French casserole with pork and sausages for lunch and fresh bred for tea. Another 220 nm to go.
Pancakes for lunch
28.10.2017 – 15:00 UTC+13 ///////// S 29°30.07′ – E 177°26.10′ //// Beaufort 5 from E //// COG 195 //// SOG 6 knots //// We had pancakes with applesauce for lunch. Slowly the fridge empties which is good since we are not allowed to bring food into New Zealand. Another 375 nm to go.
The tropics lie in the North
27.10.2017 – 14:00 UTC+13 ///////// S 27°11.74′ – E 178°51.10′ //// Beaufort 4-5 from ESE //// COG 205 //// SOG 6 knots //// Another bumpy night! But conditions are improving slightly since the wave direction became more favorable for our upwind course. We lost the third fish on our fish hook. A huge barracuda made a fast escape when the fishing rod – the leader – flew apart.
26.10.2017 – 10:30 AM ( GMT +13 ) //// S24°58.342′ – W 179°23.125′ //// //// course 205° //// SOG 4 knots //// Beaufort 1-3 from East //// We passed the trough. After some nasty squalls yesterday we had rain all night and no wind. Very slowly the wind is picking up again.
Impressions from the Minerva Reef
23.10.2017 – 16:00 UTC+13 //// day 3 on our way to NZ //// S23°37.03′ – W 178°54.51′ //// Beaufort 3-4 from E /// Minerva Reef Tonga //// After a very bumpy night – we had to reduce speed even more – we arrived at Minerva Reef. The anchor fell at 7 am on a sandy patch in the North of the otherwise empty lagoon. Unsurprisingly we are not the only boat with the intention to stop here. At night we already spotted the mast light of a second yacht behind us. Short after we had a nice relaxing breakfast two other yachts arrived. And while I am writing these notes a fifth yacht is arriving. All come from NZ or Australia. Spring has arrived in NZ and this seems to be the time of the year when one is returning to NZ. //// Worth mentioning is that there are 6 nm available for anchoring in this almost round lagoon. But the next boat arriving choose to anchor in 50 meter distance from us. On top the three other yachts anchored also less then 50 m from our first neighbor. That is civilization!
Day two on our way to NZ
22.10.2017 – 14:00 UTC+13 //// day 2 on our way to NZ //// S22°52.80′ – W 178°18.27′ //// course 220° //// Beaufort 3 from S /// 55 nm to Minerva Reef Tonga //// All day yesterday we didn’t have enough wind to sail. Therefore we heaved to at night and our midday etmal (nautical day) was less than 70 nm. Everybody had a good nights sleep. Even though the wind picked up around lunchtime today, we slowed our progress because we intend to stop at Minerva Reef and don’t want to arrive there when it is dark.
Starting signal for NZ
21.10.2017 – 10:00 UTC+13 //// day 1 on our way to NZ //// S21°58.20′ – W 176°57.70′ //// course 222° //// Beaufort 2-3 from S /// 148 nm to Minerva Reef Tonga //// Yesterday we left Tonga Tapu for New Zealand. 1100 to 1200 nm are ahead of us and we are leaving the tropics and entering the west wind drift. Starting together with us from the same anchorage was a 23 meter long, newish Oyster yacht with an enormous mast. It was flying the White Ensign, the sea war flag of the Royal Navy. We took out our kitchen knives, rigged the boarding nets, until the Skipper checked the internet: the yacht belonged to a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron of Cowes! No shooting match and no regatta with this boat, which disappeared over the horizon in no time.