Approaching Wellington

We had a good run yesterday afternoon. 25-30 knots of wind and hit 34 knots as our top speed. Plenty of fun for the drivers as we surfed big waves off the west coast of the South Island. The Kiwi’s chirping got a little louder at first sight of the big mountains of the South Island.

Things have tightened up as we rounded Cape Farewell and all slowed down considerably due to light winds on the north side of the south island with the prevailing southerly gradient. We never came to a complete stop but had to make one drastic gybe out away from land to escape a hole right along the coast. Sailing along coasty lines at night is always tricky. Hard to know if there will be “night breeze” which is a wind that blows out offshore at night or weather it will be flat calm along a shore. We have stayed offshore a bit 10 miles plus just to try to insure that we don’t get becalmed. So far, so good. We have been moving the whole time.

Movistar caught ABN 1 shortly after rounding Cape Farewell. Maybe ABN got too close to the land at Cape Farewell and fell into a real light spot. We definitely noticed more pressure offshore there. Always tricky to know how tight to cut the corner.

The forecast for the next 12 hours is for light winds slowly shifting from the southeast to the north and dropping from 9 knots which we currently have to 4 knots by 000 UTC. If that is correct, it will be a slow last 60 miles. But that is just a forecast.

The boat is in pretty good shape all though we will have to do general maintenance while in Wellington and preparing for the tough leg to the Horn. We are not allowed and help from anyone while in port in Wellington unless we accept a 2 hour penalty on the restart on Sunday. So unless a boat has a major problem and needs outside help, I doubt anyone will be taking this penalty. This means the crews have to do all the clean up of the boat and all the repairs and maintenance themselves. It will be a busy couple of days.

I am waiting for the next position report in 35 minutes. We will see how well we have done here tonight sailing across the north tip of the South Island. It has been a beautiful and very pleasant moon lit night, clear skies and smooth water.

That is all for now.


Pirates of the Caribbean