Thursday, 27 November 2014

on passage to Whangarei... or actually Opua

Greetings from beneath the most spectacular clear and starry sky you can imagine!

We are motoring (not even motor sailing) through a "ridge of high pressure". What this meant during the day was low clouds with occasional sunny breaks, but we drove out of the clouds around suppertime, and now it means that we are motoring under a perfectly clear sky with almost a flat seastate. The little smile of a moon just went down about 45 min ago, and now it is beautifully dark and starry. Victoria has been keeping me company on watch, so I wasn't lonely and we had some "Mama/Victoria time" which even when we are together 24/7 is often scarce. When I am enjoying her company she is a wise little eleven year old (and when I am not, she is also a wise little eleven year old!)

Max and Doug were busy today re-jigging the diesel-catcher-can that they had put under the injector pump in the engine compartment before we left. The little leak from our injector pump is steady enough that they have gone from the bottom half of a drink can wired under the pump to a taller food can wired into place. We (Max) can use the (hand) fuel pump that Victoria and I bought in Papeete to transfer fuel from the jerry cans to the tanks to transfer the fuel from the can to the waste fuel jug. This will get us to Opua, and hopefully to Whangarei, where we will get the leak repaired.

We have decided to head directly for Opua rather than holding out for Whangarei. Opua is closer, and it looks like there will be some strong winds before we would arrive in Whangarei. We will do that 60-mile trip at our earliest opportunity after we clear in, possibly as a two-day "enjoy the scenery" trip. Most of our friends have gone directly to Opua anyway, so we will be in good company :) (In fact, several of them arrived today/tonight, so we are looking forward to seeing them in a couple of days).

Today and tomorrow were "chores days" in preparation for the bouncier leg of the trip at the finish - yogurt on the counter today and hopefully a bit of laundry tomorrow, to take advantage of the hot water we get from our engine (our tap water at the kitchen sink, which comes through the engine compartment is hot enough to make hot chocolate, and too hot to make yogurt!) We have a bit of stowing to do to get ready for the wind to pick up again, but otherwise, we are in good shape.

After our yellow fin on day 1 and our two dorado the following day, we put out our fishing lines again today, but the day came and went with no fish. Unfortunately I threw overboard the flying fish that had landed on the deck (which had been earmarked to use as bait... who knew?) . Perhaps the bait would have improved our chances ... I am not sure that I have been forgiven by Johnathan, but tomorrow is another day.

We are all looking forward to our trip home - Victoria has made a chart and has begun to cross off the days ... I believe we are at 19 and counting. It is surreal that we have spent days with nothing to see but the ever-changing Pacific Ocean, and soon we will be back in civilization. We saw our first boat since we left Minerva this afternoon (a Swedish boat that is coming from Northern Tonga; we haven't met them yet), and we have had a couple of contacts on the AIS. I guess we are not alone in the ocean after all!

I hope this little note finds you well. Love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 26/11/2014 12:38 PM UTC SV Fluenta was at 31°44.23'S 174°29.18'E

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