It has been a trying day on Maunie. We knew it was coming but the high pressure to our west had delivered the southerly winds that we really didn't want so we have spent the last 24 hours trying to get the boat going in roughly a useful direction. The winds have been up to 20 knots and have kicked up a lumpy sea that is slowing us down – it's like driving down a track full of boulders.
Normally our options in this situation would be to ease the sails a little and sail a less direct but faster course or to drop the foresails and motor-sail with the engine running hard to push us through the weather on a better (closer to the wind) course. The former would take more time and the latter more fuel and, unfortunately, these are both luxuries that we can't afford.
We are on a bit of a race against time just now because our current ETA for Opua is Thursday afternoon, just as a deep low pressure system arrives there. This should give us following northerly winds on the final day but if we delay we'll hit adverse SW winds and quite strong ones. We've already mentioned our fuel calculations and we know that we will have to motor through calmer winds tomorrow before the northerlies arrive on Wednesday so we can't squander precious diesel now.
So this has made things uncharacteristically stressful today and we are both pretty tired after disturbed sleep. We're looking forward to calmer waters tomorrow and just hope all our navigation and fuel calculations are right! Meanwhile it's good to hear other boats on the radio – we run two 'skeds' each day, morning and evening, so can compare weather conditions and positions. One boat reported that a Minke whale came alongside him yesterday then dived under the boat; unfortunately it miss-timed the manoeuver and collided with the keel so is presumably still nursing a sore head!
News from the outside, non-bumpy world would be very welcome on board (we did get the rugby scores!) so do drop us an email if you have a minute to spare.