Monday, 18 May 2015

17 May 15 - Passage to Tonga (likely via Minerva Reef) - Day 1

Liz Letter End of Day 1 (17 May 15)

Greetings and salutations!

It is a long time since I last sat at the chart table during a night watch to catch you up on our doings. For old times' sake, Benjamin woke up just as I started typing, so once again, I am typing one-handed with a (much larger than last season) baby nursing in my lap. The one change is that now he sometimes sleeps in the bunk, so he is not on my chest in the carrier all night. I feel much lighter :)

After months of maintenance, travel, visitors, stowing, provisioning, etc, we have made it off the dock, and have had an ideal day of sailing to get our sea legs back. Despite the 8000 nm he has already done, the whole experience seems new to Benjamin. He is *not* impressed by his harness or tether, and he is a bit wobbly on his feet. I guess this is understandable, since he wasn't even walking when we got to NZ. So far, there have not been too many crashes below decks, so it seems that we have done pretty well at "securing for sea". A few days ago, I said that we would need a miracle, and it would seem that we got one. Hundreds of cans and over 100kg of dry goods (rice, flour, oats, and sugar) all found their way into cubbies and compartments. Both saloon benches are available for sleeping on during the passage. It feels good to be ready!

Our departure just before 2pm went smoothly. The wind had picked up, but we had a lull in the wind when we went to spring off the dock. A lad from a neighbouring boat appeared to handle our lines from the dock, and we slipped away with no issues. Everyone had a turn on the helm as we were leaving the bay. It is fun to see Victoria and Johnathan confidently handling the boat, steering by the channel markers and avoiding traffic. Jesus coiled lines and stowed fenders, and is now monitoring the cockpit on his first night watch. We have good conditions for now - 15-20 kts behind us, and we have the autopilot (Sammy) on wind-hold, within about 10 deg of our desired course. Our track is expected to take us on anything but a straight line, as we follow the wind to Minerva reef.

There were about 15 boats leaving Marsden Cove Marina this morning, but we only have two contacts left on our AIS - the fleet has already dispersed. We will see some folks in Minerva Reef, some in NZ when we return, and some at some unknown future date. Such is the cruising life.

Dinner tonight was our own canned chicken (thanks Dad & Mom for lids and pressure cooker gasket) with pasta and veg. We snacked all day on the apple & cinnamon muffins that Victoria made us before we left.

I am (so far, touch wood, etc, etc) feeling pretty good. This is likely due as much to the calm sea state as it is to the "Sealegs" (Bonamine), essential oils, and homeopathic remedies I have been using; however, I will not make this long, as I want to keep things that way!

Love to all,
At 5/18/2015 7:42 AM (utc) SV Fluenta was 33°26.01'S 175°28.74'E

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:


  1. Happy and pleased that our son can share such experience! Thank you all. Fondest wishes. Caraballo family.

    1. We were lucky to have Jesus as part of our crew - he is a pleasure to have with us.


Comments ? (Note all comments are moderated)