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Another uncomfortable day

North Cape abeam-the hard part is over.

Happy to arrive on day six


March 23, 2015

Tasman Bay

40°42'80S 173°09'23E

We dropped the lines in Nelson this morning for a three-day 500 mile run up the North Island’s west coast and over the top to the Bay of Islands where we will see Kelly and Jos and meet John and Gail Ward on April 1st. Flat seas and light winds.

March 24, 2015

Tasman Sea, Day Two

42°32S 158°21E

A boring report is the best kind for us. We continue to keep the North Island to starboard just over the horizon. Last night we slipped passed Cape Egmont with just its Christmas tree like oil platforms and burn off torches visible in the darkness. The peak of Mt Egmont appeared in this mornings golden dawn and slowly sank as the sun rose over the blue water. We would rather be sailing but are taking advantage of a high pressure ridge with light winds, good motoring conditions for now before the forecasted change. Just into our second day, two and a half to go; into our routine of four hour watches-lethargic, but Onora is doing the job. We read, adjust sails when the wind picks up and nap.

March 26, 2015

Tasman Sea day three

35°55’S 172°42’E

Unfortunately, this forecast was accurate. We have twenty knots on the nose and the seas are building. We are on the New Zealand shelf and the shallow bottom steepens the waves from the dreadful two swells-one ever present from the Southern Ocean and the other wind driven by our northern head winds. The slamming seas stun our forward progress, but Onora shakes it off and pushes into the next punch. If it gets bad enough we will heave too and just hang out until the wind shifts but as long as we can make 5.5 knots of forward progress we will persevere, knowing that we just have to make it through this day to reach the quiet sheltered bay that is waiting for us on the other side of the island.

The latest forecast calls for a favorable shift later today, meanwhile, like a patient getting teeth drilled, we endure it, stare at the instruments, looking for the first sign of this promised event to arrive and not feeling like doing anything. How how good it will feel when this is over.

March 27, 2015

Tasman Sea day four

34°38S 173°26E

The winds finally eased in yesterday’s dusk; the seas gradually diminished and by midnight the wind had finally slowly shifted to the southwest giving us a sailing angle for a couple of hours before it gave up for the motor in the dark hours.

The wind returned with the new sun. We are happy, sailing with the head sails poled out, seas flat and making 4.5 knots downwind in 9 knots of warm wind.

April 1, 2015

Bay of Islands

35°11S 174°02E

After crossing over the top and down several hours on the Pacific side, we found our haven inside of Whangaroa’s steep rocky heads. We dropped the anchor in a quiet flooded steep rocky green canyon. After a swim we fell into the rewarding daylight sleep that comes when our physically and mentally exhausted selves have successfully endured another test.

Following a rest day we set sail down the coast south to the Bay of Islands, a great cruising ground where Kelly and Jos Archer, Onora’s boat builders, had arrived to meet us on the dock at Dove Bay next to their home on the Kerikeri inlet. Together we sailed a short distance to Crowles Bay for a champagne lunch to celebrate Onora’s homecoming after nine years and 60,000 miles.

- [ Part II ] -





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