Tonga to New Zealand Passage – Day 10

Date: Friday, November 10th 2018 Time: 23:00 UTC (12pm local) Location: 32° 40′ S, 175° 49′ E COG:197 °T SOG: 5.0 kts (Engine on) Distance to Whangarei, New Zealand: 193 nm 24 hr. Distance covered: 86 nm
We had not seen a boat in 9 days and last night we saw the lights of four different boats. One of them, SV Sedna is visible on the horizon about 9 miles back. Sedna actually departed Mexico about 20 days ahead of us in March of this year. We are approaching “the funnel”, vessels coming from New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga are all converging on New Zealand to avoid the cyclone season. Those island nations are the “Mexico and Caribbean” equivalent for the Kiwi sailors. Many Kiwi’s make that 1000-1500 mile migration every year to avoid the winter. West Coast cruisers have it relatively easy as it’s only about 800 downwind miles to Cabo.
This passage is getting slower with just 86nm under the keel today. Last night we ran a risk and left the spinnaker up, of course the wind piped up at 02:30am and we were on the foredeck wrestling it down in the dark. We’re just trying to keep ourselves moving in the light air. The good news is that we’re almost into diesel range so we’ll start using some diesel to keep ourselves moving during our final days. We started this passage in Niue with about 90 gallons and we might finish it with around 5. We burn about 1 gallon an hour while running at 5 knots so that’s more reserve than it sounds like. We can contrast this with our Pacific passage from the Mexico to the Marquesas where we arrived with about 60 gallons remaining after almost 3,000 miles and 21 days. Two very different passages!
We are all doing well on board, we’re eating up what little fresh food we have left (carrots anyone?) and are excited to hit land. We departed Niue on the 24th so it’s been 17 days since we touched land. By the time we arrive on the 12th we’ll have been out for 19 days. That’s only 2 days less than our entire Pacific passage! Oh how time flies.
Banyan clear.

One comment

  1. Marianne McGriff says:

    I’m looking forward to the day you touch land!!!!!!! Thank you for all the wonderful posts. It’s SO comforting to hear from you. Love to all, Marianne

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