Noumea to Auckland, Day 3

After two beautiful sailing days, we are once again in light air, flying the “cast-iron spinnaker.” A small low-pressure system has moved across us to the east, and the winds have steadily backed around to the south and lightened up. Sailing to weather isn’t so bad if the winds are light and the seas calm, so I guess we have been lucky.

Even though we are well out of the tropics, the weather is still quite pleasant. Daytime temperatures are in the 70’s and the sun has been bright and warm.

So far, the passage has been relatively uneventful-just the way we like it. Its not to say that the little events of the day go unnoticed. As usual, sunsets at sea are beautiful, if not spectacular. It’s always a wonder to see sea birds searching for food, hundreds of miles from the nearest land. The ocean waters have had good bioluminescence, lighting up our wakes in the evening darkness. The moon is waning, but large enough to give us good light and visibility at night, and paint interesting objects in the clouds. I drew the 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. watch, which is always my favorite as I get to see the sun rise on the east horizon.

Another low-pressure cell to our west is moving across our path over the next couple of days. This promises to give us a fresh breeze aft of the beam and maybe even a good fresh water wash down before we arrive in Auckland. In any event, we should have a spirited ride down the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

The light winds slowed our progress so our noon-to-noon run was 160 nautical miles. At noon today (New Zealand Daylight Time now) our position was 29 deg. 34 min. south latitude by 170 deg. 36 min. east longitude. At approximately 1230 hours we had reached the half way point to Auckland with about 500 nautical miles to go.

Still no fish!

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