Hello from 28:05S/173.11E on Thursday at 13.30 ship's time (01.30 UTC)
Both Laura and Dianne had interesting night watches last night! Both experienced the arrival of rain squalls from behind us which accelerated the wind from 20 knots to nearer 30 knots; Graham was called from his bunk to help reef down the sails but, of course, shortly after the squalls gave us a brief power-wash, the wind dropped back again and the reefs had to be shaken out. It all went smoothly, however, and the benefit of having three of us aboard to do 3 hours on and 6 hours off watches means that, even with such interruptions, we're all feeling fine.
We get a daily update from Bob McDavitt, our weather guru, as well as downloading our own GRIB weather files via the satellite phone so, apart from the micro-climate events such as the rain squalls, we know pretty much what to expect of the coming days' weather. It looks as though tonight will become a bit windier (20 knots with gusts up to 30 knots) but then in the early hours of the morning it'll drop to maybe only 5 knots for a few hours as an 'upper level trough' passes over us. At least the period of calm should also coincide with the swells flattening down a bit; last night the waves were over 3m and pretty confused so it was a bumpy ride and those kinds of sea conditions with no wind would be horribly rolly.
Aside from our daily email from Bob, we have no shortage of contact with the world outside Maunie. We listen to a daily weather briefing from Gulf Harbour Radio from 07.15 to 08.00 (David and Patricia are ex-cruisers who now provide an amazing service to sailors in this are of the pacific from their radio station just north of Auckland) then we have the Southern Cross Net on the SSB radio at 08.15 where we chat to, typically, 8 or 9 other yachts who are on passage or already enjoying the warm waters of the Tropics. At lunchtime we tune into Radio New Zealand's Pacific News and World News Bulletins to keep abreast of world news. Finally, in the afternoon we have another radio sched with Peter at Northland Radio at 18.10 where we log our position, course, speed and weather conditions and get to chat to a couple of boats on passage who are also using Peter's excellent service. Oh, and of course, we are delighted to receive emails from friends and family, too. Thanks to Simon for his message and a belated Happy Birthday to Tom and Jasmine – we can't believe they're 17 already!
So, do let us have any other news you may have to give us something else to talk about on board, aside from weather and waves!