Fiji – Opua, Day 4

So when I was tucking the kids into bed last night (after they had finished watching Roger Moore ham is way through “The Man With the Golden Gun”), I turned to Hazel and said we needed to be thankful that Sophie was so fast throughout the entire day that we had successfully outrun the danger of all the storms chasing us from behind. She paused, smiled quietly, and said “Whoa!” That’s pretty much all we need to say. It’s 10.30 AM local time, 27.10.13. Current position is 30.58 S, 174.57 E. Winds are 6 knots from the east, and the seas are flat. Boat speed is 7.5 knots @ 174m with a full main and jib and one engine running @ 2800 RPM. We covered 210 miles in our last 24 hours, meaning that over our first 4 days we are now officially averaging over 200 miles per day. We could have covered more, but Jenna convinced me at 3:00 AM this morning to turn off a motor to conserve fuel. But overall we succeeded in our strategy of outrunning the front behind us, and that makes us all very, very happy. The GRIB (weather) charts we downloaded all day showed nasty weather (30-40+ knot winds) coming south just 50-100 miles behind us. We had some gusts touching 20 knots in the afternoon, but by last last night it was very calm with an easy sea motion and lots of phosphorescence in the water. We are now protected by the ridge of high pressure extending across New Zealand, the front (now a low) has slid off to the east, and we have just 250 miles left before we tie up to the customs dock at Opua. We still have over half of our fuel left and know we will need to motor into a 10+ knot headwind during our last day, but the big question on Sophie now is whose arrival estimate will be the most accurate. We’ll let you know tomorrow. šŸ™‚ From a boat perspective, nothing broke except one of the main salon forward opening hatches which developed a 2 inch crack. We’re not sure if it was caused by a flying fish (we decked 5 plus one squid the other night) or by a sheet, but it’s an easy repair. The engines sound great. Fred is still raving about last night’s boef a la bourgognon. The temperature is expected to drop 20 degrees by the end of the day, and the fleeces and wool hats are coming out. But we are safe and heading for the barn.

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