Posted 15 March 2012
We departed Lord Howe, Monday February 27 with light winds from the SE, 10 to 15 knots in strength and calm seas. In these conditions beating to windward is a pure pleasure as the apparent wind moves forward giving the boat a good speed. I steered a direct course to Cape North my next way point after leaving Pyramid's Balls on my port side.Sailing wing on wing, with winds from the NW 10 to 15 knots which lasted until February,29.
On Thursday March 1st the wind veer to the E about the same strength so I decided to heave to as I din't want to go to much South or North. The next day the wind start to veer more to South, so we made sail again going in the right direction, but with rising seas and winds, which reached gale force by Saturday March 3rd, 6 days into the passage; the seas reached 3 to 4 meters high and the wind blew a constant 35, I saw 38 on the gauge.
By Sunday March 4, we were sailing fast on close reach on a full Force 7, 28 to 30 knots and the seas about the same. At this point we were only 150nm from Cape North and I was expecting a fast passage, but to my dismay I could' not point any higher so I end up going all the way to Cape Reinga, leaving Three Kings Islands,16nm on my Starboard and tacking 6nm on the lee of the Cape, heading back to sea for another 35 to 40 nm, tacked again leaving Cape North on my Starboard heading to Cape KariKari, where I tacked again heading to open water once again for another 30 nm. On the return leg I decided to shoten the course by going via the Cavali passage and motor sail around Rocky Point through Harakeke Islands and the final run to Opua where I arrived on Tuesday March 6 at 2100 hours local time.
If the winds were favorable, the distance would have being 820 nm, but unfortunately the total log was 1044 nm, but the adverse winds made it a slow and uncomfortable passage, but never the less a rewarding one. Approaching New Zealand, I saw for the first time on the ocean a shark fin and judging by the size of it a big one and also an albatross sitting on the water and flying off, in both cases a magnificent sight.
I was very happy with my pre-departure preparations, as I didn't have any motion sickness during the 9 days that took me to complete this trip.