Duplicat's Diary

New Zealand prep continues
by Rick at 01:20:39, 2017-10-19 (day 1264)
We continue to prepare for the leg to New Zealand, as well as relaxing a bit here in Minerva. We’re basically in a holding pattern waiting for a weather window - and we may have one tomorrow.

One of the things we have to do before New Zealand is get ready for the inspection of things we’ve acquired during our trip. The wonderful shell necklaces from Amanu shouldn’t be an issue as Anthony had no problems with them when he flew through Auckland. We have some wood products which may need checking. The big issue is food - there are lots of restrictions, so we want to arrive with as little meat left as possible. We still have some very nice meat from Samoa in the freezer which we are slowly getting through. Fortunately, there are good restaurants and a nice food shop nearby in Opua so we can restock pretty quickly!

We’ve caught up with the laundry, and been enjoying the nice wind and sun to keep the batteries charged whilst still running the water maker. In fact I just noticed the watermaker cross 600hours which means we’ve made 60,000 litres of water over the last 3.5 years. About 50 litres/day - far higher than many cruising boats. Its all our ‘luxuries of land’ such as showers, washing machine and ice maker! Ok, we could do without the ice-maker but I think the first two are important!

If we leave tomorrow, we have to navigate some weather systems and try and be in New Zealand before the wind goes SW and gets very strong - probably on Saturday or Sunday next week. So we have 8-9 days, and we have plenty of fuel. Our plan is to head south west, motoring through the first high, and motorsailing after that keep the speed up. The wind should clock around to the north which will also allow us to keep heading SW. We’ll be assessing the time to turn south - ideally when we can definitely see we can reach the shelter of New Zealand before the SW arrives. Any doubt, and we keep going south west to the ‘corner’ which is at 30S directly above Cap Reinga. From there, we could sail SSE on a SW and get into the lee of the land.

If the low looks like its going to speed up, or be a problem - then we’ll slow down (past masters at this!) and wait it out at 30S.