Complete confidence in the temporary shroud – Stormvogel flies her spinnaker
Our position as at 07.30 (local) Saturday (18.30 UTC, 24th):
32 degrees 55 minutes south, 175 degrees 43 minutes east
Distance to go to Opua: 155 miles
Yesterday was a lovely bonus: as hoped, the wind shifted a little to allow us to fly our Parasailor from 11.00am till 8.00pm so we had a lovely sunny sail. As night fell, the wind (still from the north east) was becoming more fitful so we decided to drop the spinnaker whilst there was still light to see and start motoring again.
At just before 5.00am we met the forecasted weather front – a big wall of cloud and some very cold rain swept over us and the wind did a 180 degree shift to come back from the south east. Graham was on watch so go very wet sorting sails out but he hoisted the mainsail and, at the moment, we are sailing with full rig on a close reach making just over 5 knots towards Opua. Ideally we'd like to be a little faster as our GPS is predicting an ETA of 3.00pm on Sunday and we want to get in to clear-in with customs and immigration before they finish for the day, otherwise we'll be moored on an offshore quarantine pontoon, unable to go ashore, looking longingly at the lights of a harbourside bar! Some judicious tactical motor-sailing will be required we think! The lovely sunshine and blue sky is a thing of the past as we now have leaden grey skies and grey seas – just like sailing in the English Channel!
Today we'll be busy getting ready for our arrival. We'll sort through our food stocks and have a container full of food items we know will be seized by the customs and health team, tidy the boat and, most important of all, Dianne's going to trim Graham's hair which has gone wild.
All being well, tomorrow's blog will be written from New Zealand!