Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tasman Island to Tatoosh Island - Leg 2 - Wellington NZ to Raivavae French Polynesia

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 (for the 2nd time. We crossed the dateline last night)
Lat 42 44 S Long 174 00 W
On Sunday we checked out of Wellington NZ with the friendly customs officer who came to the boat. As the boat pulled out of the berth, he took a photo so Search and Rescue can identify the boat if we were to made a distress call later. Nice touch....

As we motored into Cook Strait, a frisky pod of dolphins swam along with us. As they frolicked in our bow wave, some were mating. They don't even slow down swimming and really quite shameless about it. Shocking.

Light northerly breezes were predicted as a wide high pressure system spread across the region. The wind actually picked up nicely and we have been reaching under a double reef on a balmy northerly for 3 days. A low pressure system (gale) looks like it will cross our path, so we've slowed down for a day, although there seems to be some current pushing us along. We considered diverting the Chatham Islands (NZ) to the south, which would have been nice. But we'd rather save the time for French Polynesia. So we're plodding ahead. As the winds calm, we can see and feel the long low SW swells from the southern storm track that have almost always been present since we left Hobart. And here we also have long low N swells from winds up north.

To see our weather and wave conditions,in living color you can go to passageweather.com, click on South Pacific, and select Oceania.

There are almost always 2-3 albatrosses, a gannet and smaller birds wheeling around. When the water is rough, small squid are washed aboard for us to find each morning, leaving little black inkspots on the deck.

Mark Lincoln is with us and is a great help and crewmate. We are well provisioned and with the calm weather we can prepare nice meals and have the appetite to eat them. The cool weather allows the unrefrigerated fruits and vegs to ripen slowly and puts less demand on the refrigerator to keep cold.

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