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Onora docked in Hobart, shortly before shipping out to NZ.


February 6, 2005

En route to New Zealand, pt. 2

We are in our first day of a six day trip and it is rough. Funeral gray skies and breaking big seas are pushed by the 45 knot winds that howl out of the west. We are running downwind with just the storm jib up to pull us along and taking the beating.

We rock back and forth in a jerking slamming motion. Every loose thing rolls and hits. Australian marine weather now forecasts our gale and very rough seas as we follow a low that is heading southeast. Onora shrugs off the occasional wave that breaks over her and surfs down those that slide under us accelerating to ten knots.

Jeannie is asleep and I have just finished the dinner dishes. Since I wrote the beginning of this the wind is down to the low 30's and with a spit of the reacher unfurled to aid the storm jib we are being pushed along at 8.5 knots. The low is moving away from us and a high pressure is building just west of Tasmania-a guarantee of lower winds for the next three days.

This part of the ocean is reputed to be one of the tougher and so far it is living up to its reputation. We are in the right boat to make this trip.

February 8, 2005

En route to New Zealand, pt. 2

We are at 45 33 south and 160 east. The wind is behind us at 18 knots and the seas are down so we are enjoying the ride.

With 585 miles behind us we have just 335 to go and will arrive at Bluff NZ on Friday morning.

It has been challenging with winds up to 45 knots and a lot of sail handling due to frequent weather systems passing. We have had out downwind poles up and down several times. Last night at 2:00 we had to drop them ant put the main sail up for a beam reach. The main halyard wrapped above the spreader lights and Jeannie convinced me that climbing the mast was better done in the morning so we put up the storm trysail.

This morning I did climb the mast to clear the halyard. As far as the eye could see gray waves raced with their white tops breaking, albatrosses swept the tops and the boat pitched back and froth while I held on to take it all in.

February 11, 2005

New Zealand

We arrived at 2:00 this morning between two weather systems. Late yesterday afternoon I reached Mary on Bluff Fisherman's radio and she arranged for customs and quarantine to meet us on the dock. Entering the harbor is not recommended at night but with the deteriorating weather Mary arranged for a returning fishing boat to slow down and lead us through the reefs and to the pier.

All cruisers who enter here get special treatment. In response to my query, customs said they get "four or five a year but surprisingly, you are the second boat in today".




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