Months of prep have come to an end. Days of wet and cold weather are soon to be behind us, to be replaced by the warm trade winds of the South Pacific. We have patiently waited for the weather to clear and have found a small window, to break free of New Zealand for the 1,100 mile journey to Vanuatu.
The first day will be the toughest, with expected winds up to 30 knots. It’s rough as guts now, raining and we are taking a heavy pounding, with cabinets breaking open and crockery spilling out. The crew have been warned to take the sea sickness tablets early, but no takers yet. Garry has duct taped down the hatch above our bed so that the waves breaking over the bow don’t leak through and soak our bunk. (Amazing what you learn from experience).
It should calm down a bit after tomorrow . We expect the trip to take about 6 days, give or take a day as we cover about 200 miles/day, running at 9 knots. We have left Auckland and are following the coast up north before turning towards Fiji with the wind behind us. Around day 3, we expect that we can begin turning towards Vanuatu and the winds will have calmed to 12 knots by then
During that time, we will be out of reach, save for the Satellite phone, which will give us updates on the weather and provide a means for mayday call, should we need it. We are equipped with all the safety gear, EPIRB, SSB and VHF radios, life raft, AIS, ditch bag, off shore medical kit and 6 months of food.
Our crew consists of 6 adventurers; 4 Kiwis, 1 German and myself, the American and sole female. Kevin, Swishy, Garry and myself are experienced in offshore voyages, and we have two newbies joining, Jonah and Kiery, crewbay.com recruits. They will be spending a couple of months with us as deckhands as we fish for Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Dog Tooth tuna, Wahoo and other game fish in Vanuatu. We expect to be gone for 6 months, exploring the islands, before returning to New Zealand.
Only an hour into the smashing sea, and we have our first mechanical problem. Kevin and Garry are out in the rain, trying to sort out why we just lost both engine rev counters. Luckily, they fixed the issue before I could finish writing this sentence