Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Challenging Passage to New Zealand

The trip started out as a pleasant sail. Later in the day it
all began to change. And not for the good!
This was a passage that has had many stories to tell. Everyone has had their own special experience when it comes to "sailing to New Zealand." As a result, one has a number of images in ones mind. I must admit that I was not looking forward to this passage. We knew it would be to windward - the only questions were how much wind and from what direction. And of course, the goal is to have only one gale and not two so departure timing is critical.
We were in foulies before we knew it! John at the helm.
Working on deck was challenging.
The weather has been quite irrational coming up from the Tasman Sea lately as it has brought high winds and very cold air with it. And it has been changing every few days. We actually departed a day earlier than originally projected so we could get the best of what was to be. Of course, the best laid plans changed with the wind.

There was a fair amount of work to do on deck in the
rough seas. The dinghy decided to hop onto the lifeline.
A huge storm developed to the east of us which is why our track suddenly went due west! The seas were high and uncomfortable most of the way. It was cold and rainy as well, so we were happy to have our cockpit enclosure in place. And of course, mal de mare got me and held me in its grip for four days! Needless to say, this was not a favorite passage for me!

John was well prepared with his racing gear!
In one 24 hour period, we sailed in the Coral Sea, the Tasman Sea and the Southern Pacific Ocean! John Walton from Grosse Pointe flew in to sail this leg with us. It was a good indoctrination to ocean passages for his first one! Actually, I think he enjoyed being in his foulies and out on deck challenging the elements!
We tried to use the storm sail, but decided
it wasn't very helpful so took it down.

Our track recorded by the YB tracker on board.
Seeing land ahead was a welcome site for me in particular. Adjusting to the colder New Zealand spring weather will all be a challenge after nearly a year in tropical climates. I have been bare footed or in sandals all of that time so shoes are not feeling real friendly. And now we need to think about how we will stay warm in Germany and Michigan when we travel around the world to see the kids and grandchildren for a couple of months. When we return to New Zealand at the end of January, it will be summer here!
Moving around was a challenge - especially trying to
stand up from a sitting position. Gravity wasn't on my side!

And working in the galley was a balancing act.

But you just have to stop and take in the beauty of nature
all around you and forget the rough times!

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