Merry Christmas!

We’re spending this Christmas at sea – a first for us – and what a lovely  Christmas morning it is out here! We’re about 300 miles NW of New Zealand  and slowly making our way in glassy, flat calm seas under a beautiful sunny  sky. (When we get internet again, we’ll post some pictures.)

It’s been a mixed bag passage. We’re six days into it (with over three more  days to go) and while we’ve had very nice seas and pretty comfortable winds,  we’ve had to sail into them most of the way so far. To top that off, we’ve  had a huge current against us much of the time, sometimes almost 2 knots. We  went the long way around in the first place to try for a better, less upwind passage, but that extra distance, coupled with the 150 miles or so we’ve  lost to the current has made this a very long ride! We’ve had to motor quite  a bit, if not because of lack of wind, then because what wind we had was on  the nose. We’ve motored enough that were getting a little concerned about  fuel. A few gallons more would sure make a nice Christmas present!

It turns out, even way out here, Santa knows where we are and brought us  some giftwrapped diesel. This morning, we found that our fuel gauge was  reading low and we have about 20 gallons more fuel than we thought. (I guess the lump-of-coal flip side of this is that I’ll have to fix the fuel gauge  when we get in, and oh yea, the mess I made when the tank overflowed while pouring in fuel from jugs was lump-of-coal-ish too!) Even before Santa’s  help, we figured we’d have enough fuel to make it in, assuming the weather  reports were correct (and they haven’t been so far!). It would be a little  close and we’d have to get in a couple of days of sailing. Now, we’re really  in pretty good shape, fuel wise.

If all goes well, we hope to be in Opua, New Zealand late Thursday night or early Friday morning. I’m really getting excited about being back.

Note: any mistakes contained herein are strictly the fault of passage brain  and not my fault, for I am usually faultless! 😉

Merry Christmas and may your new year be faultless!

-Rich

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