Maori welcome

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - November 2012

3rd November - Left Noumaka iki in the Hapaai Group of islands of Tonga for Opua, New Zealand. Took us 6 days, 6 hours to cover 1106 miles.(Haven't met anyone who has done it quicker this year!) The first couple of days were pleasant with flat rolling seas and a light breeze. However we knew there was a tropical depression brewing and expected much stronger winds and rougher seas as the days passed. In fact the conditions were worse than originally forecast due to the formation of a big high over New Zealand which resulted in a squash zone between it and the tropical depression. This produced winds of 35 knots+ gusting to 45 for a 36 hour period. Seas got up to around 5 metres and we had waves breaking over the deck - not a pretty sail! One boat on passage at the same time was rolled and abandoned, and many others were heaving too, streaming drogues and running under bare poles. We had the speed to out run the worst of it and arrive before the wind veered ahead, so ultimately arrived in Opua in New Zealand in good shape and to a blue sky and flat sea - bit cold though! Read our daily blog here

10th - 18th November - In Opua marina. A week of events organised by the Island Cruising Club - entertainment every evening, lectures during the daytime and various trips to introduce us to the local area (including a great wine tasting day). Spent a lot of time drying out and cleaning the boat. We were horrified to discover that the clevis pin which holds the forestay in place was protruding three quarters of the way out - something which Matt regularly checks but because of the state of the seas he had not done so for the last few days of the trip. Doesn't bear thinking about what would have happened had it come all the way out. Just shows what a pounding we had taken. Replaced anchor chain with 100m of best quality Italian, (no more rust on deck), and changed out the starboard V1 shroud, (port done in Tahiti), then had the rigging checked and tuned professionally. Bought a car from 'Cars for Cruisers'. Had thanksgiving dinner with friends at the Opua Cruising Club.

25th - 30th November - Friends Sue & David from the UK arrived for a short visit in between touring NZ in a campervan. Great to see them and catch up on all the latest. We took the opportunity to do a mini cruise of the Bay Of Islands - fabulous scenery and anchorages. See flotsam. When they left we spent a couple of days re-provisioning and cleaning ready for a month long visit from our daughter Helen - yippee!

                                          Lat and Long   30 November:

                                          S35.13 E174.16