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HSH

We arrived at Opua yesterday at 12.30 pm. 5 days from Fiji. Yeah! ( and 23.5 hours). On our way to Auckland now. Just caught the first fush of the trup. A kahawai and a trevally. We have re-stocked the potatoes… you know whats for dinner.

Thanks for following this blog. It now goes into recess for its summer vacation. Just like politicians only longer.

Talk to you again next year.

Bruce & Dinah

One more sleep

We are about 100 miles north east of the Bay of Islands and should arrive tomorrow morning. Margarita is rolling along, all possible sail set, in a light northerly. The seas are calm, the moon is full but the water is cold after the spa pool temperatures of Fiji and the tenants are having toilet trouble again. Life is never perfect. Even so we all agree the sailing is rather pleasant. And we will beat that cold front to Opua.

All’s satisfactory onboard.

Da crew

no fish

Late on Sunday the wind will switch to the southwest so the race is on to reach Opua before the souwester. The cloud band ahead of the front is slowly advancing and getting lower bringing sense of gloom that could settle over us like a wet blanket if we let it.

Only 296 miles to go and still too fast for fishing.

All’s alright onboard

half way

For the avoidance of doubt we have passed the half way point between Vuda Point and Opua and are due north of Opua. It’s all down hill from here folks! The weather continues to be favourable if a little sporty. The day’s run to noon was 218 miles. Close to our pb of 225. The wind eased and backed a little in the pm and for a while we hoisted the screecher. The crew have their sea legs. Washing has been entertained (or even attempted) and a few rounds of Rummikub have been played. Sadly our speed prevents any fishing. Life is hard! ETA Opua is some time on Sunday.

The situation onboard? Well there’s nothing wrong with it.

Honking

Within minutes of posting last night the long promised and long anticipated easterly arrived and looks set to speed us South for two more days. The wind has steadily increased to about 25 kts with occasional squalls. With the wind on the beam Margarita is honking along revelling in the fresh conditions and averaging 10 kts for much of today. In the interests of a good night’s sleep have just put in the third reef. We are now abeam of the Minerva Reefs and If the forecast holds we will be in Opua on Sunday.

All’s well onboard

Bruce, Shaaron, Martin & Adrian

wind not

We continue to motor roughly in the direction of New Zealand snatching the occasional passing zephyr to help out. The promised wind seems to be retreating faster than we advance and our attempts to engage have so far come to nothing. It’s still uncomfortably hot. Like the wind the temperature isn’t as forecast. Oh well mustn’t grumble. Better too little wind and too much heat than the other way round.

All’s well onboard

Da crew

We continue to motor roughly in the direction of New Zealand snatching the occasional passing zephyr to help out. The promised wind seems to be retreating faster than we advance and our attempts to engage have so far come to nothing. It’s still uncomfortably hot. Like the wind the temperature isn’t as forecast. Oh well mustn’t grumble. Better too little wind and too much heat than the other way round.

All’s well onboard

Da crew

a gentle start

With all Fijian bureaucrats and reefs safely navigated we leave our shore crew (Dinah and Alan) to recover our tools from a Chinese interpreter who apparently doesn’t understand “lend” and “I must have them back tomorrow morning”. It’s keeping them from further liver damage while we head south.

We are now 23 miles south of the pass motoring slowly southward into a very gentle south westerly breeze on a calm sea. Tonight, once we are clear of Viti Levu, the wind should swing to the east and we can get moving…

All’s well onboard

Martin, Shaaron, Adrian & Bruce

We have left Fiji for New Zealand. Onboard we have Adrian, Martin, Shaaron and me (Bruce). Dinah’s flying. The weather is looking good for a quick passage, easterlies most of the way. Here’s hoping! It’s about 33 C and we are all hanging out for just slightly cooler conditions.

All’s well onboard.

Sad News

On 30 September Bruce’s parents, Mary and Leon, were in a crash at their forest farm at Mercer, near Auckland. So sadly, Mary died and Leon was helicoptered to Auckland Hospital. He hung in there for four days, long enough for him to talk to all his children and grandchildren.
So on Monday 9 October their joint funeral was held in Auckland. A fitting ceremony full of love and respect for Mary and Leon. We will miss them.
Margarita was in Saweni Bay while we waited to get into Vuda Point Marina to fix the broken port engine. To pass the time Bruce had just pulled out the whole wiring system and was was reconfiguring it much more tidily and logically. He managed a temporary repair to get us going again. We worked until midnight to get it done. It was good to have a distraction from the terrible news.
Vuda was very helpful when they heard our news. They found us a berth and we tied up there. We were back in Auckland by Sunday afternoon.
Still reeling from what had happened we returned to the boat after two weeks.
Engine fixed, wiring restored oh so neatly and we headed out to the Yasawas. First stop Navadra where we had a fire on the beach. Grilled crayfish, no less. Hand caught. Locals hand over crayfish, we hand over $25.
We met up with Joao from Zazoo and his girlfriend, Kirsty. Good company as usual.
On to Somo Somo where we did the walk over the island to snorkel on the sunken Spitfire. The highlight of this trip is always meeting the elderly couple with their traditional thatched hut. We had come to know them well and they used to greet us with warmth. The huts were all locked up and had been for some time. We wish them well.
The weather looked a bit dodgy so we are now safely tucked up at Blue Lagoon.
Tomorrow Martin arrives to sail with us. On Thursday Shaaron and her husband Allan arrive for the trip back to Vuda. Adrian, the remaining crew member will meet us in Vuda.
The weather is definitely turning to summer here. Hot, windy and rain threatening. Time to head home.