We finally have our weather window. We are leaving
Nuku’alofa this afternoon (6 November) about 4 pm local time
(0100 EDT). Risho Maru and Yara will be leaving then as well.
However, it is likely that we will be outside of VHF radio
contact range with them after the first 24 to 36 hours. We will
continue to have contact with them via the SSB high frequency
radio. The forecast is very good with some periods of excellent
winds, some periods of little wind, and a period of strong winds.
We expect to sail very close to the rhumb (straight) line
from Nuku’alofa to Opua, New Zealand. We will sail a course of
roughly 200 degrees magnetic. We will head a bit west of the
rhumb line for the first couple of days so that we pass close to
North Minerva Reef. If the weather ahead looks poor, we can
enter the lagoon of the reef and anchor until the weather
improves. The distance to Opua is 1050 nautical mile (or 1200
regular miles). The trip should take from 7 to 8 and one-half
days. We will, of course, keep you updated as our passage proceeds.