Sun. 21 Jan.:
Before leaving, I did lots of planning, preparation and thinking about heavy weather handling, had the inner forestay set and storm jib at the ready to launch at a moment's notice, practiced setting running the backstays for the storm jib, deploying a drogue, and practiced man overboard drills.
We had a bit of a bumpy run for a day or two out of Tasman Is. – it was uncomfortable, the chocolates were not broken into, and nobody said “this is fun”. Soon afterwards we were becalmed. Then a great sail in 15 kt winds, all on the one tack. Then yesterday the wind died and at 10pm last night the engine went on and is still on 15 hours.
In all the planning there were thoughts of storms and big seas. Only a cursory calculation on fuel usage was done - yes, we can motor for 500nm and still have plenty of reserve. Now with all the forecast lack of wind we have to think carefully about fuel usage. We have enough fuel left to slowly tick the motor over (just fast enough to be within a healthy, for the engine, operating rpm) for about 17 hours per day for the remainder of the trip and still have a healthy safety margin.
Last night was extremely calm and damp, with mist settling inside the cockpit, and 8 kt winds. This morning is sunny, less than 10 kt winds. It's far more interesting with a bit of breeze. Apart from the relief of having the motor off, we see the sea birds enjoying it and it looks like they are performing for us. The waves and wash of the boat show the steady tick of getting to the destination and the wind feels good.
We expect to cross the halfway mark later today. For us halfway is the mid longitude between Hobart and Nelson. Still on schedule to arrive on Saturday 27 Jan.
Over the last 24 hours:
DMG to Farewell spit: 119nm
Distance from Tasman Is: 531nm
Defrosting home-made spag bol sauce for dinner tonight.
Flat seas near the half way mark.