May 18th, Eastern Hemisphere, 0200 UTC, 2 p.m. local time.
Position: Hauraki Gulf 36 deg 25 min South 175 deg 01 min East Heading 020 True Speed 6.5 knots (taking it easy, staysail only) Wind 31 knots, SSW Sea 1 meter (protection from land), it\’s gonna get big once we clear North Cape and are exposed to the full force of the \”Tassie\”. (North Tasman Sea). 60 deg F, 15.5 deg C Clear Sky\’s, Barometer 1019.5 steady, but choppy Depth 100 meters, 300 feet
\”She came in through the bathroom window\”…..Joe Cocker
Dear F&F, Well, this is our \”weather window\” and the way it blew and rained this morning, I felt like the Joe Cocker song and we were in the shower! It\’s a bit of a Goldilocks and the three bears window. Too soon and papa bear will eat you (big wind!), too late and mama bear will swat you with a Nor\’easter in the face. We think we\’ve gone with Goldilocks, you\’ll know soon!… Some of the boaters who\’ve done this trip many times said, \”this is as good as it gets mate!\”. Hope they\’re right. This trip has seen much grief come to some boats, but with weather guru Bob McDavitt as our spirit guide, we should be good. The next window could have been a month out. Didn\’t want to sit and wait for that one. More cold and rain would not have been good for the disposition of Captain and Crew.
We were the third of four boats to leave Gulf Harbour today and got 40 knot gusts as we left the bay. Glad that\’s over with. Predictions are for 15 knots over the next 24 hours starting this evening. Hopefully it will be correct. The good news is that it is right on our \”six\” as they say in the airplane world; right behind us. Kate and I played, put up the staysail on the new spinnaker pole. She did great. We have only our staysail up and it\’s enough in this \”breeze\” to keep us at 6-7.5 knots. The odd 30 knot plus gust confirms this is a smart idea. We expect that at dinner time tonight (4 pm for we watch keepers), we may get to add a bit of main sail and then we\’ll be doing 8+ knots. Partly, we\’re also waiting to clear the two barrier islands of the north Haruaki Gulf; Little and Great Barrier Islands. We\’ll clear them around sunset.
First day\’s are always a bit nerve wracking and this one to me should be, but so far doesn\’t seem to be. Kate is very excited. I had to send her down for a \”power nap\” so she can get into the rhythm of the 4 hour on/off shifts we started at noon today. She\’ll have the midnight to 4 a.m., I\’ll have the two night shifts on either side of her. During the day, we keep the schedule, but it\’s a bit looser in terms of watch standing.
Kate has pre-prepared 35 meals. It\’s all heat and serve, she has been very organized, efficient and terrific in the galley as well as everywhere else.
Wanted you all to know we finally got off the dock. Said our farewells to friends in New Zealand and leave with desire to get to warmer climate. I need to move on for a whole lot of reasons. Within 4 days, it should be considerably warmer.
KIT, Scott with sleeping Kate.