The wind has been notable for its absence since yesterday afternoon so we've been plodding along under engine. The throttle on the Yanmar diesel has been tweaked to find a 'sweet spot' of economical cruising (at just over 5 knots and 1700 rpm) with minimum noise and harmonic vibrations. It's actually a pretty quiet installation, as boat diesels go, but we've be a lot happier if the wind was our motive power. Still, the upside was flat water and undisturbed off-watch sleep last night so we're happy enough.
Today it's grey and drizzly and the latest update from Bob McDavitt, our weather guru, is that we should get about 10 knots of SE wind this afternoon which should be enough to sail in roughly the right direction. However, it seems that the weather patterns in NZ may be turning unsettled and he's giving us early warning of strong southerlies as we approach North Island next Wednesday. Oh, good. This is where, we hope, Bob will earn his money, giving us a revised route to sail around the worst of the weather. Now that we have passed the last of the Fijian islands with their handy cell towers, we can't get those nice internet weather pictures so Bob will be our eyes and expertise, to add to the Grib weather files that we can access via the sat phone.
We are motoring in company at the moment – Lisa and Lester on Obsession are a couple of miles on our starboard beam. We first met them in Denarau, Fiji, last year and again in Fulaga this year so it's nice to have some company for the occasional chat on the VHF. So that's about it for the moment; all's well aboard Maunie and we'll just keep heading toward the cold weather!