10,000 MILES WITH TRUCE

Banging to windward all last night and today on starboard tack.  Getting to New Zealand is a battle, every mile must be won.  I am not complaining – some are still in the north waiting for a break in the weather and one yachtsman is sheltering at Raoul Island.

The daybreak this morning was beautiful and the day is sparkling but the wind is cool from the south west.  I am seeing more birdlife today, this morning we were visited by an albatross.  The bird circled a couple of times before flying alongside, looking us over with the beady eye of the ancient mariner.  What majestic animals.

This morning I was completing our voyage records and discovered that today Truce and I have just completed 10,000 miles together today.  We did 2,700 plus miles last year between Canoe Cove and Glacier Bay in Alaska.  This year we have done over 7,200 miles across the Pacific, from Canada to New Zealand.  I would say we know each other quite well although I still have much to learn.

Now less than 300 miles to Opua.  But we still have a calm patch and a gale to get through.  The maximum forecast winds for Tuesday have just increased from thirty-nine to forty-two knots.  Oh boy – I don’t fancy that.  I will hank on the storm staysail tomorrow.

WORKING TO GET SOUTH

It’s a good job I made muffins yesterday – it would never have happened today, conditions are far too boisterous.  The day started out with a rain squall and front just after midnight.  Then a strong south west wind and swell set in and we have been using it all day make our way south the best we can.  Our starboard bow is in the weather for a change, pushing aside the SW swells and sending a deluge of spray all over the boat.

We are still looking at an ETA into Opua on Tuesday.  Hopefully just ahead of the thirty-nine knot winds that are forecast.

I was thinking about the motion on board Truce today and realise she is very light compared to when we started the voyage up in Canoe Cove.  Then we had on board provisions for six months and the weight of cases of soft drinks, beer, drinking water bottles, tinned and bottles provisions – a great weight.  The fuel levels are now quite low and water is about half full – no wonder the movement is lively.

GREAT COMPANY IN HONOLULU

On Thursday, my daughter Jessica arrived in Honolulu.  On Friday, my friend Richard arrived.  So good to have company after being solo since San Francisco.  I haven’t seen Jessica since last December and Richard for a few years so we all have a lot of catching up to do.

Post Snorkelling refreshment. Photo Ray Penson
Post Snorkelling refreshment. Photo Ray Penson

On Sunday we did some boat maintenance in the morning and then set off to Hanauma Bay for some snorkelling.  What a beautiful bay and the water over the shallow reef is teaming with tropical fish.  The water was nice and warm – even I was happy to go in.  Of course, the sun was hot and after a while we had to depart for some refreshments.  We plan to do a trip to Pearl Harbour and hope to get out of town to see come of the north coast before Richard departs on Friday

Richard and Jessica at Hanauma Bay. Photo Ray Penson
Richard and Jessica at Hanauma Bay. Photo Ray Penson

Yesterday we did a mixture of shopping, eating, drinking and just hanging around.  We managed to find an acoustic guitar for Jessica to take on the trip.  I am expecting to be entertained with some music and singing along the way now.

I have been getting a small amount of water in the bilge recently and was at a loss to where it was coming from.  Finally, I found a pin prick hole in the bilge hose in the engine room.  The hole was probably started when the dripless seal was being installed in Canoe Cove.  Anyway, it was a relief to find the source of the water.  With Richards help we have run a new hose from the pump to the over-side discharge and the bilge in dry again.  So easy to do this kind of job with an extra pair of hands around.

Jessica and I plan to sail on Friday to Kiritimati, some twelve hundred miles south of Honolulu.  The boat is ready, we just need to do some final provisioning and top up water, fuel and cooking gas before we set off.  I am looking forward to the next leg south as Jessica will be on board to share the experience.