Passage to Opua: day 3

The morning started with absolutely flat seas and no wind.
It is comfortable but not what one really wants with a sail
boat. A quick download of weather showed that little wind was
predicted for 36 hours as we pass through a ridge of high
pressure. This made me worry about fuel consumption until a
breeze unexpectedly arose in mid afternoon and then slowly
freshened until it reached 16-18 knots. The engine went off as
the boat heeled over with all her sails up. Unfortunately, a
strong adverse current kept out speed to the 6.5 to 7.0 knot
range when it should have been near 8 knots. It is after
midnight now and the wind has slowed but we are still under sail
and headed in the right direction although slower than I would like.

We knew about the adverse current from the informal cruisers
net that we participate in every day at 5:30 pm on 6.241
megahertz. Tom on Rasa Manis, two days ahead of us, has
complained loudly about the current on the net and now we
understand why. Seafari, one day ahead of Rasa Manis, reports
that the current becomes ‘fair’ closer to Opua. That is still a
long way off. In a couple of days only Sabbatical III and
Asylum will be left on the net unless Risho Maru and Yara soon
leave Nuku’alofa and join. Everyone else will already have
arrived in New Zealand. Thirty (!) boats left Nuku’alofa last
Saturday and most should be finishing their passages this weekend.

We have had nothing but clear days and night. There are more
stars visible than an any time since we left Rhode Island. But
it has been getting cold at night. Tonight I am in jeans, a
t-shirt covered by two sweatshirts, a wool cap, and socks and
boat shoes. I have not worn boat shoes since last year, but my
feet were getting cold in sandals. The days are long and the
sun is hot, with great sunsets.

Even though we still have plenty of fish in the freezer, it
seemed like a nice day to go fishing today so I put two lines in
the water. I do not know what kind of fish they have here, but
they sure must be big and strong. The rod bent over and the
reel started to unspool line at an alarming pace even as I
tightened the line brake. Finally the fish just tore apart the
steel leader on my best lure and disappeared. At the same time
the handline unspooled and the same thing happened. These were
the lures that I used to catch my big tuna and mahi-mahi a few
days ago, so I was sad to see them go. Perhaps this is fishes

Here is our current position:

Time: 00:50 local time Nov 9 or 12:50 UTC Nov 8

Position: S 25 degrees 50 minutes, W 178 degrees 56 minutes

Course over ground: 196 degrees magnetic