We were moored at Opua, Bay of Islands for six days before we departed for Fiji.
It was time to do some chores around the boat, get organized, and do some laundry. It looks like the winds will die down by tomorrow, but they still won't be favourable for our course to Fiji for a few more days. Barbara will reprovision for our 7-10 day trip to Fiji. Craig is actively analyzing the weather maps and forecasts, so he can determine the best time for our departure.
May 2, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands
We're still waiting for good weather. There are more gale force winds today,
so we have time for more preparation. Barbara went grocery shopping
today, so we are
now fully provisioned. Craig made some necessary repairs
to Sequoia and
kept a close watch on the weather forecasts. He
says tomorrow is a good possibility for our departure. I helped Barbara with
food preparation and storage, and also helped Craig with repairs that required
I have sent several emails to friends and family back home to
my email list. Sending these reports while we are offshore will be
limited. In fact, sometimes we can't get an Internet connection at all. So
assuming we leave tomorrow, it may be a week or more before folks will hear from
May 3, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands
Another day of waiting for favourable weather reports. I decide to make a list of the boats on the nearest three wharves:
May 4, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands
We are not leaving for Fiji today, and it looks like it will be a couple
days before we get another opportunity to depart,
so we rented a minivan and drove to some
of the local sights.
We went to the nearby Marsden Estates Winery for lunch - JoeTourist recommended!
This evening we had a Dinner Party aboard Sequoia - Guests included Jean & Clive from Hannakin (Southampton) and Clint from Restless (Honolulu). It was pretty cosy with 6 in the cabin, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. This was my first dinner party aboard a yacht. It was a bit more informal than I had imagined.
Jean & Clive are circumnavigating the world. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos Islands, then to New Zealand. So far their journey has taken them two and a half years and they have travelled 50,000 miles. They will travel to Fiji about the same time we do, then carry on to Malaysia (for Christmas), then Sri Lanka, and across the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea, where they will stay a year. Their total voyage time before returning to England is estimated to be 5-6 years. This is an amazing journey full of physical challenges and hazards, and yet this retired couple is doing it!
Clint is making repairs to his boat, but eventually plans to sail solo to Hawaii. He might reconsider and take on a crew member, but his journey won't start for a few months, so he has time to plan things further.
May 5, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands
It looks pretty certain we will be leaving Opua, bound
for Fiji tomorrow morning. The winds
have already swung round from the north, and a front is expected to come through
tonight - both good indicators of favourable weather for sailing north to Fiji.
We drove through Paihia to get to the Waitangi Estate. Paihia is a tourist strip - to be avoided except for offering the only good choice of restaurants and food stores available in the area.
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