April 30, 2012
Welcome to the first post of the season! We know it has been six long months since Downtime posted a good story to read, but now the season has started so get ready for the next adventures aboard Downtime!
We spent our last month in New Zealand getting Downtime ready for her sail north. The boat was hauled and fresh bottom paint was applied and the propellers and sail drives were serviced. On the topside a fresh coat of wax made her shine! The spinnaker and jib were repaired and the screecher was replaced with a fresh sail from Far East Sails. We tried to get whatever needed repaired while we were here because it would a long two years until the next haul out.
The list of provisions was long and after a few trips to the markets we had Downtimes lockers and refrigerators full with months of supplies.The only thing that was troubling me was the weather. New Zealand had the coolest summer in ages and we needed a high pressure system if we were going to sail to Tonga. There had been three weeks of lows sitting on the country with a huge high out east blocking any hopes of favorable weather.
Daria had spent the last five weeks visiting family and friends, leaving me with most of the boat chores. She flew back on the 26th and I had a friend Steve fly in on the 24th to help out with the passage. Daria must have brought the weather with her because as soon as she arrived so did favorable weather forecasts! We finished up with last minute shopping and had everything stored and ready when the High arrived.
We cleared out on Saturday the 28th and set a course east with a 15 to 20 knot SW wind pushing us along at 9 to 10 knots! The wind continued through the night and the first day we covered 160 miles on really flat seas. On day two the wind shifted a little north but stayed in the 20 knot range and we turned north on a course of 40 degrees. While I am writing this we are averaging close to 9 knots and are 1000 miles from Nuie a small island west of Tonga. With any luck we will arrive in 5 days.
Some of the highlights of the trip so far were a pod of dolphins that crossed out path late yesterday afternoon and another pod of whales that we past just 200 yards to the port this morning.
Then it was Steve’s birthday on the 30th until we crossed the date line and he had to wait another day! So technically he will have had 2 birthdays on downtime in as many days! Top that!
One of the low lights is having the only saltwater head (toilet) plug just after I used it!! One of my maintenance items that got postponed…. and bit me in the rear!! Come to find out if you run saltwater in hoses for a few years they clog shut with deposits! Yuck!
We hope to be telling you some good fish storied in our next post!! So stay tuned…
Until then, Peace! Downtime’s crew, Pete, Daria, and Steve
April 18, 2012
Being at home with speedy and unlimited Internet, I have decided to start to post photos from NZ!!!
PS: and new stories are coming…