Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Evidence of southerly progress: RNZAF and Coconut Oil

The RNZAF Orion comes to say hello
Hello from Maunie of Day 5 of the voyage. As we expected we had to start the engine at midnight last night as the wind began to drop but we've had a bonus of better-than-expected winds this morning so we're sailing again in bright sunshine.T he wind's clocking around behind us (currently NE going NW) so we're rolling a bit and not make great speed but we'll take it over motoring for as long as we can.
For the stats enthusiasts and fellow yachties – here's our update at 00.00UTC Tuesday 28th October:

Position: 25 degrees 51 mins south, 174 degrees, 18 mins east
Wind: NNE 12-14 knots
Boat: 4.5 knots SOG at 173 degrees true
Sea: 1.5m mostly easterly
Pressure: 1018hPa
Cloud cover: 10% Cumulus all around, bright sunshine and blue
Mileage covered in past 24 hours: 130nm
So our speed has dropped but Bob our weather guru has sent us a new routing which does a bit of an interesting south-east then south west zig-zag in a couple of days. Hopefully it'll give us a good angle to meet the big swell coming up from the south.
Anyway, we're definitely feeling as though we're coming out of the tropics now. Though the days are still warm, the nights are distinctly chilly so the duvet is on the bunk for the first time since May and we've dug out our fleeces. Hell, we'll be wearing long trousers soon! The one instrument we don't have aboard Maunie is an air thermometer but we can confidently tell you that it's averaging below 24 degrees. How do we know? Well, our coconut oil from Taste of Tonga in Neiafu (wonderful stuff for cooking) has started to go solid and that happens at below 24 degrees, apparently.
The other evidence of our progress (about 550 miles to go) is that we were buzzed by the RNZAF Orion reconnaissance plane this morning. We were alerted to its presence when we heard the VHF radio suddenly come to life as it called up another yacht over the horizon so we spotted it approaching us from the south. It banked around our stern to take photos of us (the rumour is that this is the aircrew's preferred approach since they might surprise attractive female yachties sunbathing naked in their cockpits!) and then called us up to confirm our identity and ETA in Opua (the morning of Sunday 2nd Nov at the moment). The female radio officer was very professional as you'd expect and confirmed that our Advance Notice of Arrival that we'd emailed to Customs had been received.
Today marks our half-way point so we may allow ourselves a little G&T to celebrate this evening.

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