ENOUGH WEST – TURNING SOUTH TO NEW ZEALAND

I haven’t posted a log for a couple of days.  I didn’t have much to say, Truce and I have been beating to the west to get around a am nasty patch of weather above New Zealand.  Same slog day after day.  After three days, we have gained enough distance to start turning to the south and hopefully benefiting from favourable winds on the last part of the voyage.

Of course, now that we have gained our westing the wind has disappeared completely and we are in an area of high pressure.  It looks like we will be motoring for twenty-four hours until we are clear and into a breeze.  I have my fingers crossed that the autopilot, engine and everything holds together until we reach the wind.

The yachts that I met along the way at Tonga and Minerva Reef are still waiting for a weather window to depart to NZ.  That is a good safe tactic if you have the time and provides an enjoyable quick trip in good weather.

I intend to clear through customs in Opua, Bay of Islands.  It’s the closest customs port if arriving from the north and once cleared in I can take a sail down the coast to Auckland.  It will be so good to be back on the spectacular NZ coats again with its snug safe anchorages.

At late afternoon we were six hundred miles from Opua.  If the last part of the voyage goes to plan we will be arriving there on the 26th September.

It seems I budgeted my beer stock just right.  I have sufficient to last until Auckland and an emergency reserve in case of delays or bad weather on the way.  One advantage of the cooler weather is also cooler sea water, beer laid in the bilge is nice and cool to drink now.

The last of my fresh Tonga vegetables has been consumed – only some onions and limes remain.  These will also be gone before we land in Opua, not allowed to bring such stuff into New Zealand.

ARRIVED IN HILO

Since yesterday we have had very little wind.  At noon yesterday we had 77 miles to go and at midnight thirty three remained.  By five thirty in the morning in had managed to reduce that to seventeen miles.  The small breeze we did get was from the passing rain clouds.  So, an executive decision was made to call on Mr. Yanmar to get us home.

I was hoping to see the Big Island appear on the horizon at daybreak, much as Captain Cook must have seen it.  It was no to be, the rain showers and low cloud meant that we didn’t see the land until a couple of miles distant.  At nine in the morning we rounded Hilo Breakwater.  By ten thirty Truce was Mediterranean Moored in Radio Bay and all secure.

In the Tropics, Hilo, Hawaii. Photo Ray Penson
In the Tropics, Hilo, Hawaii. Photo Ray Penson

The couple from the boat next door helped me tie up and then brought over a beautiful Papaya.  Very welcome and disappeared down the hatch in no time.  I then checked in with Boarder protection, an easy process here and it was time to relax.

In the afternoon I went for a walk. The road into town is busy with trucks, noisy, hot and dusty.  It’s also a long way into town and I didn’t make it. I got distracted by an area just past Reeds Bay, Liliuokalani Gardens, and the walk along Banyan Drive.  Nicely laid out parks and people making good use of them in a relaxed manner.  It’s hard to think this is America.

All the walking in the hot weather was taking its toll, but fortunately I found some place where I could refresh myself.  What I have seen so far of Hilo is good, the people are very friendly and relaxed, reminds me a bit of NZ.

The plan tonight is to have a couple of sundowners on the boat, go ashore for an open-air shower and then have a good sleep without interruptions.  Tomorrow I want to get the rig tensioned up evenly and fix the mast wedges.  Once that is done I will feel happy to put on a bit more sail.  Then I want to have a tourist experience of Hilo and visit a Volcano, as recommended by a local.  Voyage distance 2,114 miles.

THE SEARCH FOR LONG LIFE MILK

Woke up to a clear, cold overcast day, but it soon turned to sunshine again.  I wonder when we will pay for all this beautiful weather?  I didn’t get down to Victoria today but had a walk around Sidney by the sea instead, not quite the same as Victoria but an interesting place anyway.

The New Zealand Radio callsign and MMSI number came through today.  What a great service from the guys at Callsigns NZ, thank you.  Truce currently has Canadian registry and this need to be deregistered before I can start the process for New Zealand registry on the small ship register. Monday tomorrow and a start to the working week.  I hope to get some more bits n bobs sorted out tomorrow.

The provisioning is all but finished, just some fresh fruit and veg to load before I depart.  The only critical item missing is long life milk, I can’t seem to find it locally.   I find this unbelievable as there is a bewildering display of milk types on display at the supermarket.  The nearest to normal milk I have found is called Homo Milk – which I find a little queer.  I will keep asking around but so far

I get only blank looks from the shop assistants.

Logged 3rd April 2016