The long Way to Fiji

Day one: Sweet, light wind sail as we set out in the afternoon. Night one: Motorsailing with easy seas. Day two: amazing spinnaker reach where Anthea sailed at the true wind speed in 5-7 knots of wind on the beam. What a glorious sailing boat! We all took turns handsteering, as at 7 knots of boat speed and wind speed on a beam reach our massive spinnaker starts carrying her higher into the wind. The helmsperson must anticipate this trend and begin steering off the wind before the spinnaker drives us up, up, up and Anthea heels over and further over until someone dumps the sheet! (Marty, Yvonne and Nick had a joy ride like this on a small boat on SF Bay with Mark once, broaching until Nick pulled out his handy swiss army knife and cut the sheet.) Devon did a marvelous job with this tricky steering and Anson was in heaven maximizing boat speed and keeping us right on the edge. Night two: sweet, light wind sail, then motor sail, then motor in dead calm. Day three begins with slightly overcast skies in a calm sea with little wind. So far we’ve had very easy conditions with some delightful light wind sailing, but what lies ahead is not sweet. Strong NE winds all the way to Fiji, worse than predicted when we set out. We all agreed to just keep sailing instead of turning back to NZ and waiting for another weather window. So we’re on the easy part of the journey now, with motoring for the next 12-24 hours then some light wind sailing again as we make our way East, across the dateline, for a NW angle on the NE seas. We’ll be beam reaching in strong winds and seas for some 850 nautical miles. Not fun, but it should be safe as long as an out of season cyclone doesn’t pop up out of nowhere. Peter is in close contact on the weather routing and I pore over the weather files several times a day. Our route is now 12-14 days long instead of the straight route of 7-8. The weather won this race! Kim
33 degrees 14 minutes south; 177 degrees 58 minutes east at 0700 on 5/10 NZ time

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