May 12th, 2011
Dear Friends and Family, When leaving New Zealand which I have chosen to do as soon as practical for emotional reasons; the weather is EVERYTHING.
Yesterday was perhaps the worst weather I\’ve seen in my life! Not kidding. It was blowing 40 knots, 50 in the gusts. It was raining as hard as I\’ve ever seen. A tropical depression was to the West of New Zealand and just pummeling us. At least it wasn\’t freezing. Winter here is just around the corner.
What a difference a day makes…. Today looked like a benign sunny calm Southern California day…go figure!
Another low pressure system is to \”hit\” us on Sunday and the weather guru\’s say Monday to Thursday looks good for a JUMP. A jump is of course \”departure\” day. We\’ll go to Auckland (downtown), check out with Kiwi Customs and anchor out for a night to acclimatize to our environment. I prefer to start a long passage in the morning as to get our sea legs for the day. Speaking of \”our\”, let me introduce you all to young Kate Richardson of the UK.
Kate is an ultrasonographer. Basically, she takes ultra sounds of people for medical diagnosis. Kate is on an extended holiday \”overseas\”.
I met Kate through \”findacrew.net\” where people are looking for sailing experiences. As she was here in New Zealand, we met and hit it off right away. Kate brought two friends to check me and \”Beach House\” out. Kate\’s friends Stephen and Bea are both in the British military. Stephen is a communications officer in the Royal Navy and Bea a soon to be Major in the British Army. Stephen of course had to check the boat and Captain out for safety and qualification to let his friend Kate go off on a 1300 nautical mile South Pacific junket. Due to the result, I suppose both Captain and boat (which at the time was a complete mess!), passed muster.
Kate has been most enthusiastic and a complete joy in the organization of the galley and provisioning. With several crew/skipper certificates in hand, she is looking forward to her first long distance ocean passage. Hopefully it will be adventurous, but not too much so.
We are using local weather guru, Bob McDavitt to assist us in weather passage planning. Bob works for the New Zealand Met and was the head weather guy in Fiji for several years.
Kate is keen to learn to dive and I\’ve reinstated my PADI SCUBA Instructors certificate officially as of today. So if we get to the Minerva Reef\’s or upon reaching Savusavu, Fiji, Kate will get wet and we hope to make her a newly certified diver upon arrival.
So far, our Wednesday departure is looking good. If it continues so….we\’ll \”Jump\”
Keep in touch, Scott and Kate aboard s/v Beach House