Camelot V - Update 12

New Zealand to Tonga
1200 miles to windward

Time has passed again. We have enjoyed New Zealand very much, have met many very nice people and had a trip home to Canada to spend Christmas with our family.
Although we spent most of our time in Whangarei we did have a nice sailing trip to Great Barrier Island and back up the coast to The Bay of Islands and Opua. Muriel flew home from here and I waited for my friend Tex and the rest of the crew to arrive. Which they did on April 14th. Tex, his son Troy and their friend Mike. We still had to provision so got that done and at noon April 17 we raised anchor and powered out into the bay. Got sail up and were under way with winds at 10 knots and just a bit ahead of the beam. Winds soon picked up to about 20 knots and swung around from the north a bit more so we were beating buy now. And finding that some of the landlubber stomachs were not adjusting well. So we sailed as easily as possible for the first two days to get them used to the motion and able to keep their food down. So buy being easy on the crew we only made about 90 miles each of the first two days. But even with light stomachs Mike was able to catch a nine pound tuna and Troy a 50 pound marlin. This is a sample of our organization when a fish is caught.

Boat speed in Knots and course True
4.9 kts, - 005* T
Wind direction and speed in Knots.
From NNE 20 kts
Sea state
5' chop - 15' easterly swell

Troy caught a 4.5 ft - 50 lb. marlin:
Much excitement and running around, much advice giving, getting sails down, more advice and "ya I knows" exchanged, get engine running to steer around to keep fish from getting wrapped in the rudder, find gaff, yet more advice and ya I know's flying around, get fish along side, more advice (this time directed at the gaff man) he ignores all advice and gaffs the fish amidships, much blood and advice now. Fish is finally secured with a line around the tail and hook removed.
The clean up after took almost as long. Blood was splashed as high as the mainsail. But again with plenty of advice available everything was scrubbed clean.
Fish last night for supper and fish and eggs this morning. Excellent.

The forth day out we made 142 mile and Mike baked bread. Every one is feeling better now. I keep telling the crew that the winds will swing around and come from behind us and that we will probably be burning diesel one day and be wishing for wind. Neither of my predictions were even close. We never saw the wind from aft the beam the hole trip and slowly building as we traveled. Some days the wind would swing a bit more from the east then back to Northeast again. Most days we could point to our waypoint but some days even pinched in a tight as we could get we would fall off a bit only to have to get it back later. The winds never got over 35 knots but never much under 25 knots either.
We are making good time now averaging 140 miles per day but the ride is quite rough. The rough ride doesn't affect the quality of grub produced in the galley. The grub on board so far has been slightly better than the fare in most first class hotels. We had Tex Mex day yesterday with Tex starting the day with hoavoes rancheros. Then home made bread and fish for lunch. And tenderloin steaks wrapped in bacon with Mexican pasta for supper. All while doing over six knots at a 30 degree list and the decks awash.
So we have no complaints there.
Although there have been a few fairly major spills in the galley.
This morning we had two fish on lines at one time but only got one aboard. Tex brought in a 15 lb. mahi mahi. The disorganization on deck and in the cockpit during fish retrieval has not improved.
The swell is larger now and the wind up to a steady 25 knots. We are still beating but still making good time and getting closer now to our destination. So everyone is looking forward now to a calm anchorage. We have green water coming over the bow regularly now but the water temperature has warmed considerably since leaving New Zealand. Tex Troy and Mike spent the afternoon in the cockpit screaming and laughing as each wave would drench them.
On the morning of the 27th we reached the Islands of Tonga and calm water. What a relief that is. As we worked our way in through the Islands to Nieafu all hands were on deck relaxing and enjoying the calm water and nice weather. At noon we were tied to the customs dock exactly ten days out of Opua New Zealand. With never once seeing the wind from aft of the beam. I told the crew it would be better from here to Fiji
I don't think they believe me.

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