May 18th, 2011 0915 UTC/2115 local time (Eastern Hemisphere)

Current Conditions: We\’re 20 miles north of Great Barrier Island, heading for the Minerva Reefs. 750 miles to go if we stop there. Position: 35 deg 44 min S 175 deg 23 min N Wind South 22 Swell South 1.5 meters Temp: 59 deg F, 15 deg C Heading: 020 True Speed 7.7 knots

\”Moondance\”….Van Morrison

Dear F&F,

Well, what a marvelous night for a Moondance. We\’ve a full moon and relatively benign conditions. When the prediction for the wind to drop down to \”20 knots\” finally occurred, Kate took the helm, headed us to wind and I raised the main to the 3rd reef point. Still a small bit of sail, but plenty for \”Beach House\” aka: Miss Piggy to get up and rock. I wanted to have a nice easy first day and the conditions are cooperating. The North Island of New Zealand is still providing us protection from Ms. Tassie, we\’ll loose that within the next 24 hours.

As I write, I\’m downloading the \”mean surface level\” fax from New Zealand MET (Meterology) to keep an eye on what\’s developing.

This afternoon, good old N6ABC got back on the roll call for the Pacific Seafarer\’s Amateur radio net and checked in. We were number 18!…Busy folks out here. I got to speak with old friends including Chuck from \”Jacaranda\” still in Mexico an Joan on \”Tender Spirit\” headed also to Savusavu but from the opposite direction in the Marshall Islands. She wants to \”race\” and only has a 500 mile head start….:) Yeah, we\’re faster, but that\’s a big handicap to give.

Kate is having her first offshore and night sailing experience, doing one of the most important things she can do….SLEEPING. It sounds normal and natural, but remember, we\’re moving around constantly 24/7. It\’s an important skill. We trade watches every 4 hours and keep an egg timer going to insure we take a good look around every 20 minutes. I have no boats in sight and our AIS (automatic identification system) isn\’t seeing anyone either. However, our radar detector does see a signal, most likely at least 10-20 miles away. We\’re watching.

According to the weather fax, we should be sailing into lighter but more South Easterly winds over the next few days. If conditions warrant, we\’ll put up more sail in the morning and let Miss Piggy stretch her legs a bit.

Hope you like the \”live blog\” posts, it keeps me company and away from my dreams….

Hugs, Scott with sleeping Kate