Day 3 Nelson to Fiordland

Date: Sunday February 7th 2021 Time: 23:00 UTC (12pm local) Location: 43° 03′ S, 169° 22′ E COG: 218°T SOG: 4.5 kts Distance to the Fiordland: 100 nm approx 24 hr. Distance covered: 98 nm

We had the CRAZIEST luminescing jellyfish last night. It was a little like we’d got on the magic school bus and were sailing through a river of bacteria. The girls also compared it to a sea of mini icebergs, but we’re not that far south! Most of The jelly fish were rod shaped, just like bacilli, 8-10 inches long and 2-3 inches in diameter. Some were huge mushrooms about 3 ft in diameter and others were long (maybe 6 ft?) strands of tubular jellies that were either curled up like a coiled dockline or long strands. We also saw Portuguese Man’o War jellies with there long stinging filaments that hang down. It was a dark night with clouds and as our bow broke through the water, the jellies bioluminesced like crazy, creating a river of greenish glow behind the boat and speckles of bacteria shaped glowing jellies all around us. We’d never seen anything quite like it. We motored through the field of jellies for almost four hours and then they were gone. Really quite spectacular.
Other animal sightings have been several huge albatross, a seal laying on its back with its fins in the air. We aren’t sure what it was doing – maybe sunning itself? Yesterday some common dolphins tagged along with us for a while. We can’t forget the fish! We caught another tuna yesterday afternoon. Rice and tuna lettuce wraps for lunch today!
The sailing has been totally unremarkable. We motored for 30 hours (blah), then early this morning put the sails up wing on wing with a soft warm breeze from the northwest. We just lost the wind at about 3:30 pm (immediately after spending about 20 minutes putting up the spinnaker), so the engine is back on. The seas are really mellow as well, with a small wind waves here and there and a big long mellow swell coming out of the south just to remind us where we are. If we stay around 4.5 knots we will make it into Milford sound by tomorrow at noon, giving us the rest of the day to navigate up the sound and into deep water cove. It also helps us avoid the stronger and rougher conditions that are forecast tomorrow and Tuesday.
The girls have been listening to books on tape, coloring in some new books that Mimi sent, reading, cooking, doing dishes and helping with sail setting when needed. They stand watch in the morning so Cameron can get some rest if he needs it, but generally, it’s been so mellow. As I’m up through the night, I sleep most of the morning away and the girls are very excited to see me when I make my way out of my cabin in the late morning.
We are about 50 miles off the coast and there is a pretty thick cloud bank that butts up against the Southern Alps. However, every once in a while we can see the tops of huge snow covered mountains peaking above the clouds. We say “that must be Mt Cook,” then a few hours later, “no, THAT must be Mr Cook.”
That’s all for today! Blessings to you all from the crew on Banyan.

One comment

  1. Joanie Schumann says:

    You are one amazing family I am always in awe of your adventure and guts….so cool
    and I would love to see those jelly fish, what a variety. Oh the stories you have left to tell..
    Be safe and stay healthy.. Lots of Hail Mary’s coming your way

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