Fiji – Opua, Day 3

We are well over halfway to New Zealand and covered our best 24 hours ever on Sophie! 10.30 AM local time, 26.10.13. Current position 27.31 S, 175.38 E. Winds are 10 knots from the east, and the seas are still comfortable at 1 meter. Boat speed is 9.5 knots @ 174m with a full main and jib and both engines running @ 2800 RPM. We covered 210 miles in our last 24 hours, meaning over our first 3 days we have covered 598 miles. (That is fast.) The really good news is that we covered most of this ground without using our engines, with the combination of a clean bottom, flat seas and a 15 knot easterly contributing to 9.5 knots of sustained boatspeed throughout the night. The less good news (and most of you know that I am too much of an optimist to say “bad news” in an offshore passage update) is that we are outrunning a line of squalls forecasted to develop behind us, but we are in a good position relative to the front and didn’t turn the engines on until 8:00 this morning so we have full tanks of gas and only 460 miles to go to Opua. The extended forecast for New Zealand is for a high to develop tomorrow with no fronts and a light southerly wind and 1 meter swells. If (meaning when 🙂 ) we outrun the squalls tonight, we will have a day and a half of motorsailing and should reach the dock sometime Monday evening. The kids are doing much better, and I knew Leo had recovered when he wolfed down 2 Italian sausages for lunch yesterday. Nothing has broken in the last 24 hours and everyone is well rested and happy. Dinner was an excellent salad and sauteed eggplant (Jenna) accompanied by a very tough corned beef (me). New life lesson: never assume the beef you are roasting is NOT a corned beef when it in fact it actually IS. We are bummed the Sox lost game 2, but it means that Jenna and I will be able to watch some of the Series on shore. Finally, another sailboat just showed up on the horizon ahead of us. Frank’s racing instincts are kicking in as he continues to reel in (sailboat racing term) our new neighbor. They don’t see or hear us yet, but I assume we’ll have a nice conversation when we pass them. All in all, we are having a great trip.

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