We had beautiful weather when we left Marsden Cove at 11 AM. We still had an hour of motoring to get out of the river and around the point before we could head northward and have the winds to raise our sail. But, it was sunny skies. We watched a beautiful old sailboat with a gaff mainsail and a huge bowsprit cutter rigged motoring along with us. They were out for a short day cruise with tourists on board. We soon raised our sails and left the old boat behind us as we made 8-9 knots.
Karen made some lunch and we had a nice lunch while watching the scenic coastline nearby. We were headed towards the Poor Knights (a well known set of islands off the coast between Whangarei and the Bay of Islands). As we were within 5-6 miles of the Poor Knigts, the winds clocked to the NW as was expected. So, we started going to the NE as expected. We still had cell phone and 3G service up until we were about 10 miles east of the Poor Knights. I sent some Facebook messages along the way.
After lunch, Karen decided to clean up and was down in the kitchen. When the winds shifted the seas got a completely difference motion going on the boat. Karen, who normally has an iron stomach, got seasick for the first time in years (I think 10 years actually). Poor thing! Matt, who is new to offshore sailing, also felt a little uncomfortable at times. As a precaution, he took some sea sick medicine he brought and was fine. He took his first watch between 9 and 1 AM and did a great job!
Just before sunset, we had a visit from a pod of dolphin. They did some great cavorting about and a few of them stayed with us for about 20 minutes. I managed to catch a few photos of them. We always consider it a good omen for a passage if the dolphin visit us, so I was especially happy to see them.
We had such a clear day that I told Matt we might see a green flash. He had never heard of one. Sometimes, on a perfect horizon, just as the sun sets, you see a sudden green flash. Lots of people don’t believe it, but Karen and I have seen several of them over the years. The conditions have to be just right, with no clouds and good horizon. Well, Matt and I watched a perfect one!
The winds held true to the forecast all night and we made good speed at 8+ knots most of the night. Top speed was 10.4 knots. And, we’ve already made 165 nm after only 20 hours. We expect the winds to shift so that we can make a better heading towards Fiji after midnight (in about 16 hours). Time now is 7:45 AM, and we are at 33.78 S, 176.46 E. Check the Tahina Map to follow us.