Ah, the adventure of sailing. Foamy seas, the salt spray in your face, heeling over at 45 degrees and slamming into huge oncoming seas…not on this trip so far. Last night I turned on the motor when we hit 1.8 knots of speed and on it’s been ever since. It’s like being on a catamaran. I can set my drink down, walk away, and expect it to be there when I return. Every sail is up in readiness for those short 5 knot “blasts” of wind we get every 5 minutes but in general they’re all flopping around useless up there. We’re turning the motor at about 1500 rpm and doing 4.5-5 knots. I decided 100 miles a day motoring was enough since we don’t yet have the most accurate outlook of what to expect the last few days into New Zealand. Not until we reach 30 degrees south and I start examining the 72 hr outlooks will I trust the forecast for the homestretch so let’s save the fuel in case we need to motor all the way. The wind is suppose to fill back in the day after tomorrow. Enough to sail by at least….I hope.
No complaints from the crew though. Marge is just as happy motoring as sailing. And when it’s calm she doesn’t mind getting in the galley so I can’t complain either. It’s so calm we’re grilling chicken tonight. I don’t remember ever having used the grill on passage before. My last batch of fish jerky should be ready by sundown. Casey from “Monkey Feet” (yep, that’s the boat’s name – two youngsters aboard) taught me how to make it. We had tons of mahi left even after giving so much away and this is a great way to save it. I’ve had trays of it drying in the sun the last couple of days. I also keep having dreams about catching a yellow fin. Hmmmm, maybe I can sneak a line off the back without Marge noticing.
I would say a quarter of the boats that left on Sunday are stopping in Minerva Reef. We’re sticking to our guns. The weather outlook is fine so we’re taking advantage and going all the way. The last thing I would want is to stop there for a couple of days and then realize a Low is blowing off Australia. We’d have to race it down or wait it out and I don’t want to do either. Slow and steady seems like the right thing to do. As long as the fuel holds up, I predict we’ll be into Opua, New Zealand on Tuesday. Meanwhile, I’ll set my drink down and go grill some chicken. Hey Marge, put a movie on!