Days 1 to 3
So far so good!!
Getting a weather window from Noumea proved to be a little problematic as we wanted to dodge the fronts, however, not as problematic as trying to get to NZ. We were happy heading west. It appears the passage is another feast or famine choice!!
After picking our weather window, we asked David from Gulf Harbour radio to comment on our timing.....he gave us the thumbs up. Nice to have a professional checking what you think, but at the end of the day, the atmosphere changes quickly and it does become a bit of a dart board!
We departed Noumea on Thursday the 25th October and anchored for the night in beautiful Baie Ma'aa, just 10 miles to the north. We were waiting for a front to pass Noumea, then we would be off! This meant that we really didn't start our passage on a Friday!
The seas were a little lumpy going out through the main pass, Dumbea, but once clear we settled into a nice 18 knot SE wind, lasting for 12 hours. The 2.7m swell died down as we progressed and now we are motor sailing on and off as the breeze comes and goes. Today, day 3 an 18 knot SE breeze filled in again as a front (small and weak we believe) passes. SO we are off again making fast time!
There are over 12 yachts all heading into Bundaberg, and fortunately we will be relatively spread out for clearance purposes. We are in regular contact via VHF with some of the yachts sharing our delights at the sailing conditions and despair of the 1 knot of current that appears against us for some of the time. We are sort of hoping to get in late in the afternoon so we can have a good sleep before we do our clearance. The Port to Port Rally offer a refund on the $330 clearance fees, which is a little saving as we had to pay $220 to join the rally!
Sky so far has been clear with a wonderful moon and stars. We are now on EST so first light is before 0400!! This makes for short nights and long days, all relatively speaking!
We have 420 miles to go which should take us another 80 hours or so, depending on our speed. By midnight tonight we should be half way! The last 100 miles will be a little challenging with the currents and seas if the wind picks up.
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