The Guest Cabin: (A passengers' unique views above and below decks)
3 October 2003 07:04 -0000 [UTC]
We are having a great time in Vanuatu. We are currently anchored in Layman's Bay on Epi Island. You will probably remember from years before that we have been here a number of times. It is famous for the local friendly Dugong that frequents these waters. Last year we were on a tight schedule and did not see him, but the year before we did and enjoyed it a lot. Again, this year we swam with the Dugong and he looks good & healthy. He let us swim with him for a long time. I got to swim along side him as he came up and I think I got closer than last time. He chompped his way through rows and rows of sprouts. There are still lots of turtles and we swam with them "turtle style".
We celebrated our 27th Wedding Anniversary on Oct. 1. The last two years were a bit sidetracked as were transitting in a "white squall" for the 25th and last year Richard was home for a business. That made this year sweeter. I cooked one of our favorite dinners (chicken cordon bleu & chocolate mousse).
We keep meeting up with friends as Cormorant sailed in yesterday afternoon. It was a treat to see them again. We have kept in touch over the years but it was nice to up close with them. We transited the same time back in 2000 and they were some of the first people we met when we arrived in Nuka Hiva in the Marqueses.
We are catching up on varnish and reading books. Love it.
Miss you all. Thanks for everything ~~~Lani
25 September 2003 20:47 -0000 [UTC]
We have finally recuperated from having guests on board. Our friend Ross from Sydney and his friend Spencer flew in to Musket cove to sail to Port Vila with us. Their wives, Lynette and Marlene Flew into Port Vila to meet us. We have had about a weeks worth of intense fun but it is exhausting maintaining that sort of pace. Lani and the girls had a lot of fun shopping in the duty free stores and we all had many meals out. The restaurants are very good here because of the years of French control. Vanuatu has been an independent country since 1980 but the culture lingers on. There is still a large French community that I'm sure thinks is still in control. Every one living here seems to get along well together and it is a happy country, unlike Fiji which has continuing problems between the Indians and the Fijians. We are planning to leave Port Vila today or tomorrow to sail to the northern islands. The first stop will be Layman bay, Epi, so that we can swim with the Dugong and giant sea turtles.
The weather in Vanuatu has been much better than Fiji, much more tropical. Musket Cove and Port Vila are the same latitude north so there should not be a difference but, strangely enough, there is.
17 September 2003 00:39 -0000 [UTC]
Anchor down- Vanuatu
We are anchor down in Port Villa arrived Tues @6:00. It is warm & wonderful. We were the 8th boat to finish.
More later ~~~Lani
16 September 2003 20:08 -0000 [UTC]
Well we are motoring along and glad to be doing it. Spirit of Ireland was once the leader and motoring all the time to stay on the rumbline is now adrift as her motor died and there is no wind. And Flight Path (Andy- x crews ride) which was a head of us at the start we soundly passed before the pass out the reef, now is back to sailing (more like drifting) as they are nearly out of diesel. Wonder if Andy is rethinking his attitude? Anyway, we are having fun. We caught a big Mahi Mahi and 1/2 of it was much better that my chili would have been. This is a much better passage than 2001. We should be in by 4:00 Wednesday.
Here is our info for 13:00 Fiji time
Lat: 18.02 S, Long: 169 49 E, course: 268, Speed 6.6,
wind is at 0 knots from no where,
80% clouds, seas at <1m
Thanks for everything ~~~Lani
15 September 2003 19:06 -0000 [UTC]
24 to go
The TTG says 24 hrs. This has been a lot better than our last Fiji to Vanuatu trip. Last time everything went bad: no auto pilot, lost our favorite fishing lure and ran into a "white squall". This time we had a day and a half of perfect sailing but now I hear all are motoring in this race? We found out that the leader had been motoring from the very beginning but now his motor died and he is drifting about somewhere. If we spot him we will probably tow him in.
It is not too bad after all it is flat seas, warm and we have great people on board. We are also getting a lot of reading done.
Here is the info for 15:00 Fiji time
Lat: 18.17 S, Long: 171 00 E, course: 270, Speed 7,
wind is at 0 knots from no where,
80% clouds, seas at <1m
We are making the best of it ~~~Lani
14 September 2003 20:18 -0000 [UTC]
Hi to all: We are going all just fine, making 7 knots in in 5 knots of wind. I think we will be motoring soon. We must look great with all these sails up.
Here's the info for 4:00 Fiji time 16:00 UTC:
Lat: 18.48 S, Long: 173 35 E, course: 217, Speed 6,
wind is at 5 knots from ESE,
70% clouds, seas at <1m
Monday morning Sept. 15: Well, we are 1/2 way there. The wind has gone away so we are putting in some required motoring time. This is a silly race so we could still be competitive. Seems the leaders have been motoring since the beginning to stay on the rumbline. Anyway it is a pleasant trip and everyone is rested and well fed. All my early preparations have made my passage easy. We have some squall lines around us and so it was good to get down all our giant sails and regroup in the morning.
We are all looking forward to getting to Port Villa as it is my favorite town in the South Pacific - islands that is. It has good food & good shopping.
Here's the info for 2:30 Fiji time 1430 UTC:
Lat: 18 38 S, Long: 172 27 E, course: 268,
Speed 6.6, wind is at 0 knots,
90% clouds, seas at <1m
13 September 2003 21:28 -0000 [UTC]
Going to Vanuatu
We are on our way to Port Villa, Vanuatu in the Musket Cove to Port Villa Rally. This is the first race/rally we have been in since we left the states (for one reason we did not have racing insurance, but we recently changed insurance companies and fixed that little problem).We are on a regular schedule checking with Musket Cove so safety wise we are covered, and it's great hearing how the other racers day is going.
We got a great start out of Musket Cove in spite of very light winds. There are 24 boats in the race. We are in 8th place now I think?? These will be easy to pick off if the wind picks up. Now matter what, and most important, we are looking good. It is 2 a.m. and we have the asymmetrical spinnaker up along with the reaching gollywobbler. Tomorrow we will probably set the "dragon" gollywobbler as the wind is going deeper. Anyway, it is a nice cruise so far and we have Ross MacDonald & Spencer Simmons with us from Sydney. Also our other 2 new crew members Kate Baldwin & Simon Croft are on board and we are feeling well crewed indeed.
Here's the info at 2:30 Fiji time - 14:30 UTC:
Lat: 18.01 S, Long: 175.10 E, course: 242,
wind is at 8 knots from ESE
seas at 1m
full moon & lots of stars,
Better get back to the race
25 August 2003 06:27:29 -0000 [UTC]
We are still anchored in Musket Cove. We have not moved since we arrived here in late July because the weather has been "iffy". However, since we have had such a hectic year it is nice to just relax and recoop. Shelly & family have come and gone and hopefully had a good holiday in spite of the "iffy" weather. They got to do lots of snorkeling, twin blasting (dragged around on a inflatable water toy with our new FAST dingy), BBQ ashore on the tropical island, practicing the fine art of fishing (apposed to actually catching fish) and enjoying the Musket Cove resort. Shelly actually read a book. It was great to get caught up with Zides and all the news from home. There was an information drought here before the Zides arrived. Now the tanks are overflowing.
We are getting ready for the Musket Cove to Port Villa race and are interviewing local crew. We hope to get in a little island hopping if the weather permits before the race. We have 2 friends flying in from Sydney to do the race.
If you would like to see a glimpse of where we are you should check out: www.musketcovefiji.com
There is a real nice gallery with pics and links to the resort. While you are at it, there is the phone number for reservations!
The Musket Cove to Port Villa race is supposed to be a fun rally and the rules reflect it. They start out straight enough but they soon become twisted. Take number 12 through 15.
12. Each yacht must carry fuel and/or spiritous liquor to the Race Committee's satisfaction, and the committee reserves the right to remove samples of either for analysis.
13. Use of light weather sails and drifters is strongly to be discouraged, and motoring is to be regarded as the usual means of propulsion in winds of less than 10 knots.
14. Line honours yacht will be automatically disqualified unless it can be proven that blatant cheating occurred.
Penalties (and possible disqualification) will be incurred on yachts with any of the following:
(a) Rod rigging
(c) Matching oilskins
(d) Rating Certificate
(e) Sails less than 4 years old
(f) Trouble-free refrigeration system
(g) Sperry Topsiders or similar footwear
(h) Bow thrusters
We will keep you posted as race day approaches. ~~~Lani
26 July 2003 20:31:51 -0000 [UTC]
We have been in Fiji for a week now and have almost settled into the Island life. We went snorkeling for the first time yesterday (the wind has finally dropped off) and visited all our fish friends. We are happy to report that the coral looks healthy and the fish population is abundant. We have heard reports of coral bleaching but this part of Fiji seems to have been spared.
Musket Cove is a great place to meet up with old cruising friends, it seems that almost all the boats visiting Fiji land here sometime during the season and stay for at least two weeks if not the entire season. It is surprising to see how many boats from the class of 2000 (our first year of cruising the South Pacific) are still out here. It seems that if you make it through the first year happily that it is very hard to return to "civilization", Why would you?
This afternoon one of our crew, Sam Koster, flies back to NZ. Sam owns a farm on the North Island that has dairy cows and grows Kiwi fruit. He is originally a doctor from the UK who has made the step up to farming, as he happily says. Sam has his own boat, 38' sloop, and has been doing off shore passages on other boats to gain experience for his own future cruising. He plans to buy a larger boat, so he thought sailing on Astor would be good experience. He has been great crew and fun to have around, with lively conversation and wit. I think that his days aboard Astor has convinced him that he does not want a boat larger than about 45' or a schooner rig. I have tried to convince him that you have to stay busy when cruising but he thinks a big schooner is much too busy. Just because we will spend the next two weeks varnishing may also have had some effect on his thoughts, but why?
21 July 2003 08:28:00 -0000 [UTC]
We are safe and rested in Lautoka, Fiji. We arrived yesterday at about 12:30 after a great 22 mile sail in the lagoon from the pass to Lautoka. We completed all the formalities of checking in by 1600 and had a quiet and early evening.
Today we went shopping in Lautoka for produce at the native market and wandered the town. Had curry for lunch. The weather has been overcast because of a low but it still in the 80's with water temp of 80. The crew spent the day washing storm covers and getting the salt off Astor so that we can go to Musket Cove on Wednesday and get serious about relaxing.
Fiji seems to have recovered from it's coup as Lautoka seems more prosperous and the people are more relaxed and friendlier than they were when we passed through here back in 2001.
Cheers, Richard & crew
19 July 2003 21:19:00 -0000 [UTC]
WE ARE HERE! Astor entered (and did NOT hit) the Navula Pass at 8:00 am this Sunday morning. We are now sailing inside the reef to Lautoka where we will officially enter Fiji. The crew is all on deck and we will be checking in with customs shortly. I just wanted to send off a quick message before we really get busy.
19 July 2003 6:43:00 -0000 [UTC]
..we'll be there tomorrow
it's only a day away!!!
We should clear the pass to Lautoka tomorrow early and be anchor down soon. Last night was bad again. After all, we had the token one day of perfect. At 2 a.m. the south-easterlies arrived. So we jibed and got back on the rhumb line. Today is grey and although the wind is good and finally from the right direction we are minimizing our sail area as we do not want to arrive at the pass in the night. Besides the seas are so confused that to go much faster would be even more uncomfortable. We are rocking and rolling pretty good on a double reefed main & fore staysail only.
We are really looking forward to Lautoka even though it is Sunday with over time check in charges - we do not care. Ready for anchor down.
Lat: 19 21 S Long: 175 55 E, Course: 030 mag,
Wind: 18kts from 145 degrees,
4:30 pm local,
We will let you know when we get in. ~~~Lani
18 July 2003 21:06:00 -0000 [UTC]
Subject: Getting close
Date: 18 Jul 2003 10:06:00 -0000
Hi to all,
This AM we are 165 miles from Fiji sailing on a double reefed main and fore staysail only, to try and go slow (little luck as Astor is still doing 8kts) so that we can arrive at the pass in the morning. The wind Gods are still having sport with us as the direction changed at about 2am from NW to SE requiring a dark of the night jibe, always fun. This is the first day of "trade winds" for the entire trip. We have gone to weather for about 900 miles of a 1150 mile trip which is impossible if you look at the pilot charts. Because of all this fun we are really looking forward to a couple of weeks of lazy time at Musket Cove which has it's cruiser bar on a small palm covered island on the reef lagoon, complete with barbecues for the cruisers. We figure it will probably take a week of scrubbing to get the salt off of Astor (when you factor in the bar time and fishing).
All is well on board and the crew are still happy as long as you don't take the black humor about the weather seriously.
Lat, 19 59 S Long, 175 25 E, Course 027 mag,
Wind 18kts from 145 degrees, Speed 7.5kts,
Weather, Partly cloudy air temp 80 f
water temp 80 f,
Bar 1014 and rising
9:00 am local 2100 UTC:
Cheers, Richard & crew
18 July 2003 19:11:00 -0000 [UTC]
Finally good weather
Date: 18 Jul 2003 10:06:00 -0000
Early this morning, about 4 a.m. we picked up a west wind, tacked and are once again on the rhumb line for Lautoka. We are doing 10 k with wind from the west. Yes, the westerly trades??? I don't know how this is happening, but we will take it. Back on a port tack the ASTOR is much happier.
We hooked up a nice Skip Jack Tuna and seared it for lunch with an encore coming for dinner. We filled the solar showers and are lining up for a bath. 5 days of going to weather is forgotten immediately.
We are 24 hours out according to our computer ETA so will now have to slow down to get to Lautoka on Sunday a.m. as we do not want to negotiate the coral by moon light.
Position at Friday, July 18, 4:30 local, 1430 UTC:
Lat: 21 36 S Long: 175 22 E Course: 009 m
Speed: 9.8 kts
Wind: 14 NW
Seas: 1 meter NE & 90% sunshine
I was really ready for this weather change, cheers ~~~Lani
17 July 2003 19:11:00 -0000 [UTC]
Course Change -> Lautoka, Here we come!
We have not a let up on these ENE winds so we decided to alter our destination. Suva is out and Lautoka is now in. We are still waiting for a nice day at sea with proper wind and seas. We usually get at least one on a jump like this. We had 3 going to NZL but as Richard reminds me we are in the middle of winter season. The weather fax shows positive signs that it might be better tomorrow with some SE winds coming.
Richard replaced the impeller in the generator this a.m. so we are busy charging up the batteries and making bread. We are all getting rested up after last nights wind & squalls.
Here's the information at 4:00pm local
Lat:23 58 S , Long:175 08 E, Course: 349,
Speed: 6 knots ,
wind 18 T from the East ,
Seas: 1.5 meter from SE.
Morning Update: The wind Gods are toying with us, the wind shifted to NNW (it almost never blows this direction, this time of year) and has gone light so we have tacked to maintain our course to Fiji.
The good news is the seas have moderated and the ride is much more comfortable. All is well on board
Lat 22 47S Long 174 43 E Course 030 m Speed 5.5 kts
Wind 8 NNW
Seas:1 meter NE 1/2 meter
7:00 am local, 1700 UTC:
16 July 2003 21:46:00 -0000 [UTC]
No sleepin on deck!
Yes, we have hope that it is warmer where we are headed as the water temp is going up. However, the outside weather is still cool, cloudy, grey with rough wind & seas. We are still going to weather. We keep putting the main staysail up and down as the wind comes and goes. It has been quite busy on deck with all the changes.
Today was Andrew's birthday so we had a little celebration with chocolate cake & cream and of course hip hip hoorays x 3.
I am off just off my watch. Shortly, I will be dreaming of deck chairs and palm trees.
Lani's message did not get sent because we had quite a busy night of weather. We were caught off guard by a sudden wind shift at about 11pm. At that time there was no cell activity and the moon was out. Suddenly, the wind shifted 30 degrees to the north and increased to 35kts with gusts higher and we found ourselves in big confused seas. This temporarily confused the auto pilot making for some exciting moments. We managed to get everything under control without any problems. The wind eased after about an hour and clocked back about 15 degrees.
It is dawn now and it looks like we have rain squalls with small patches of sun scattered around various points. so things should improve. At least we can see them coming now.
The good news is the water temp is up to 75.5f so we might even be headed in the right direction!
Lat: 24 52 S , Long:175 12 E, Course: 345, Speed: 8 knots ,
wind 25 T from the East ,
Seas: 1.5 meter from SE.
Time 6:30 am local, 18:29 UTC
15 July 2003 08:07:00 -0000 [UTC]
Water temp 70°
We are nearly 400 miles off NZL. The weather turned on us a bit last night. We had a weather line go over us last night so the watch on deck rousted the crew and all hands were up shortening sails at 3 a.m. (and they thought it was going to be a luxury cruise!), Once again the weather fax did a good job of being about 7 hours late. Now running on a double reefed main, 2 staysails and doing in the 8 knots. The ride is better now, and we are all rested up.
All is well on board. Here is our information:
Lat: 28 S, Long:175 13 E, Course: 003, Speed: 8.1 knots
wind 16T from the East
Seas: 1.5 meter from SE.
Chicken & dumplings for dinner tonight. Thanks ~~~Lani
14 July 2003 08:09:00 -0000 [UTC]
It's getting warmer already!
Yes, I can feel it. We have such confidence that we took the heater stack off the deck. We don't plan to run the heater for a long time.
All is well on board and currently we are making good time and the seas have quieted down. We are currently on a port tack so that makes the first passage we have done where my berth is the lee berth. All others have been weather berth.
Lat:31 47 S, Long:174 46 E, Course: 002 (on the rum line)
Speed: 9 knots , wind 12T from the ENE
Seas: 1 meter from E.
Time 4:20 pm, local
Chili for dinner ~~~Lani
13 July 2003 21:33:00 -0000 [UTC]
Out of NZL!
We finally left NZ over the horizon. We up anchored in Opua at 11:00 am on a perfect day. There were just a few white puffy clouds and a light breeze from the Southeast. We had perfect sailing until about midnight when we had some squally weather. Not big or bad cells but the wind was up and down until 5 am when the clouds cleared and we got to enjoy the full moon shimmering on the water with about 12 kts of breeze just forward of the beam.
All is well onboard, the new hands are doing a great job (I even got some sleep the first night out) and everyone seems happy even though they are unfamiliar with Astor and the schooner rig. By the time we get to Fiji they will be seasoned schooner sailors and, of course, will never want to sail on any other type of sailboat.
Lat:32 35 S, Long:174 41 E, Course: 000
Speed: 7.5 knots , wind 12 from the E,
Seas: 1.5 meter from SE.
Time 9:30 local, 2130UTC
13 July 2003 08:19:00 -0000 [UTC]
Out of NZL!
Currently it is 4:30 pm and we are on our way. We left Opua at 11:00 on the warmest day we ever had in the "Bay of Island". We have light winds but are sailing along just fine. All crew are doing well and busy learning about sailing an old schooner. They are learning fast.
It felt like we are leaving so late this year, so I checked my journal and it shows we actually left 4 days later last year. So I guess we are still on track, and will have plenty of time for "fun in the sun".
We are curremtly headed for Suva, Fiji. That could change as we get closer, but landfall will be somewhere in Fiji.
We will keep you updated daily as to our position. We are not checking in with any nets just yet.
Astor's current position:
Lat: 34 36 S, Long: 174 17 E, Course: 352
Speed 9.2 in 12 knots of wind from the SE,
Seas: 1.5 meter from SE.
We will try to check in daily. The air waves have been very crowded so it has been difficult to e-mail twice a day, but we will try. Richard has his watches at 8 pm & 6 am so somewhere in between should be perfect.
Hope all is well back in Orange Co. ~~~Lani
12 July 2003 10:45:00 -0000
Off to Fiji!
We are currently in Opua, Bay of Islands.
It was a great sail from Kawau Island over night to Opua. We had 12 knots of breeze at 60 degrees to, in flat water, perfect. The night was clear with a 3/4 moon, a great sail.
By the time you read this we should be on our way. We hope to leave here, Opua, before noon to Fiji. The weather forecast is for a large high between here and Fiji which should bring settled weather for the passage. We have already checked out with customs and immigration so off we go.
Fiji was a place we wanted to see, but had to bypass on our original trip down here three years ago. The schedule and crew are both in agreement that it is now time for a visit.
Cheers, Richard & Crew
9 July 2003 09:52:46 -0000
We finally left Auckland for points north. We untied from our berth at the museum at 12:30 local time and made a short hop to Bon Accord harbour on Kawau Island, 26 miles north where we presently sit. Tomorrow the wind is supposed to shift to the southwest which would make great sailing to Opua in the bay of islands. We will wait in Opua for a weather window to Fiji. Hopefully, this wll not be a long wait, as we want to get up north to the tropical weather.
These short hops also are good for the new crew as they get used to Astor's systems. The path back up to Fiji might be quite challenging.
We have been berthed at the National Maritime Museum since arriving in Auckland and they have been gracious hosts. We all have enjoyed and appreciated every minute... except maybe for the weather. Winter has taken a good hold here and we are looking forward to something a bit warmer.
22 June 2003 06:22:00 -0000
Thanks to all that messaged us about the crew list..
At this time, I think we are set for crew to Fiji. We have Andrew (27) who has been sailing on his family's timber boat since he was 6. He is likeable, fit and an electrical engineer who wanted to go to Australia. So that means we will have someone else on board with us all the way through. I think we also have Ian (33? former big schooner sailor) and Sam (47, retired doctor, with off shore experience) to get us to Fiji. We may also, have a 24 year old American that is a friend of Ross MacDonald's. So we have a full boat. Maybe I won't have to do watches as I will be the cook/chief depending on the weather.
Mariah & Daniel are now home with their 6 boxes/bags (70 lbs. each) not to mention the 4-5 bags that went to the Salvation Army. So ASTOR is sitting higher in the water. Miss them like mad but concentrating on getting ASTOR moving up to Fiji and warm air/water.
Hi to everyone - ~~~Lani
13 June 2003 09:34:00 -0000
Yes, we made it out of Tauranga - hooray!!!
We had a 2 day passage from Tauranga anchoring for one night in a nice bay near Mercury Island.
We are presently at the Maritime and paying $25/night instead of $300 like last time. What a difference. We even have free parking right on the Maritime Museum pier.
We had 2 new crew. Ian in his thirties, used to sail on Schooners in the Med and he varnished our spares last Jan. We also, had Sam (47) a retired doctor who is tall, fit with lots of off shore experience. He is happy to pay his air fares and says he can join us easily on passages. Says he can also cook underway. Now we are looking for someone, or a couple, who will stay with us right through to Australia. The Maritime Museum has lists of people that might be able to help us out.
We still have a lot to do: get the life raft serviced, an in the water survey and a few fix-it projects. Richard had a cold all last week so could he not get much done. However, we did get the new dingy mounted on deck between the spars.
Mariah & Daniel leave Tuesday - it will be tearful but at least we will have a lot more room on the boat!! Daniel sounds the saddest to go but they must do what they must do.
I will send more soon ~~~Lani
Hello from the crew!
Looking at the calendar it's hard to believe that it has been three years since we started this adventure. We have seen so much in the many places we have tied up or dropped anchor, and have met so many people along the way. Astor has handled it all without complaints.
The month of May found Astor's crew again hard at work doing routine mainteneance and even a managed few upgrades aboard ship. The only major modification involved a little bit of cabinet rework down below, and in the end Lani had a new helper in the galley! This dish washer has been a great addition, and Lani doesn't know why it wasn't put in long ago. She has never been happier and is once again excited about cooking. It found a perfect home under the counter in the galley, but this required the fabrication of a new counter top because the sink had to be moved over 10 inches. The old top was very beat up so now the galley looks brand new.
Lani and I also found ourselves traveling back to the states for a personal hand with a bit of unfinished business. It was a nice change of pace to stay with good friends and gracious hosts, Jim and Marion, and catch up with a few old friends in between the many errands that needed to be done. We are sorry that we could not catch up with each and every one of you, but it wasn't easy trying to integrate back into the hustle of SoCal, and with all loose ends tied up for a while, it was soon time to get back. We returned back to NZ, and found Astor in fine shape thanks to Daniel and Mariah.
Daniel and I have spent the last week putting hours on our new dingy (hard duty) so that we know that it will be reliable. I bought the boat in Costa Mesa and had it shipped here (it's a 14' Caribe RIB) and Daniel bought the outboard here (50hp Tohotsu 2 cycle-- because you can only buy 4 cycles in Cal). The new dingy will live on deck while we are sailing so we are having a rack made to keep the new tender in place in rough seas.
This is also a time of big changes in crew as Mariah and Daniel are packing to come back to California and go back to school. They fly out of Auckland on the 17th. We are sad to see them go, and it also leaves us in a position to take on a few more good hands. We are searching for new crew to replace them for the trip to Australia, and we have several prospects for the run up to the islands but no one to go the distance. We don't want to get caught in the islands with no crew so we are still looking.
If anyone is interested you could respond to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org so that the sailmail does not get overwhelmed.
We plan to leave NZ on the first of July from Opua in the Bay of Islands which is in the north.
We are madly trying to get us and Astor ready to sail North to warmer weather and waters. Down here in the southern hemisphere it is fall heading into winter. Current NZ weather is about 60 for the high and 50 for the low on a good day, with rain and wind on and off.