Tonga to NZ – Update 7

October 19 –┬áHere we go again with another daily passage update!

We’ve had another day of steady east winds at 15-20 kts, making for very nice sailing conditions as we continue ever closer to our destination of Opua. With slightly slower winds, we sailed a respectable 180 nm over 24 hours. We’ve passed the halfway point and have just under 400 nm left to go! The seas were a little more confused this morning after a relatively calm night, but are again settling down this afternoon. After reviewing the weather forecasts, we’ll continue to head slightly west of the rhumb line to anticipate a wind shift and to skirt lighter winds on Sunday.

Everyone has settled into a good routine. A staggered breakfast in the morning, as the night watches catch up on sleep; everyone is normally up for lunch and dinner (today’s menu: grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and baked lasagna for dinner); then the night watches begin anew. Between meals, we read, talk, nap, and keep an eye out for other vessels in our little fleet. Counting Stars has moved out of visual range today, but we’re still in contact via Iridium email with them and the rest of our group. One of the faster boats, Pelizeno, topped 200 nm two days in a row!

We crossed paths with a large pod of dolphins yesterday perhaps 300 meters away, but they didn’t come by to play in our bow wake. We’ve also seen and heard the occasional bird, and other boats have reported large albatrosses flying with them for a while. Nick and Dave were treated to a spectacular sunrise on their watch this morning (pictured).

Dave, Kevin, Nick, Mike & John

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