Hi there! We are still alive and Sidewinder is still in one piece and that is good!!! It has been a much better day so far, with calmer seas, gentler wind, intermittent blue skies and sunshine, so thanks for all the prayers!!!! Yesterday was more grueling as the day before, with galeforce winds of 30-35kts and one has to be a bit crazy to do this type of sailing by choice. Wendy and John are just now completing their circum-navigation of six years and she told me this has been their worst passage so far, and she is sailing to homeport, Auckland. She has re-assured me, though, if we continue to do this next year, that the return trip to Fiji is much easier, thank goodness!
While outside in the rain two nights ago, with huge waves rolling into the cockpit periodically, trying to get some comfort from my already wet clothes and the wet cushion I sat upon, I tried to make some sense of why I needed to be outside at all, while David slept below. I returned to the warmth of the wet cabin below, and methodically poked my head out every 20 minutes checking on the sails, the windvane monitor, and the rigging. We both sat yesterday, pondering our future with Sidewinder and who knows what we will do. With these conditions, you feel quite helpless and just hope that the boat can hold together, along with the rigging, sails, lines, etc.; the tension is incredible, cutting into your belly and helping to exhaust all energy. PHEW!
When the wind began to subside, 22kts of wind felt calming, and as they fell into the teens, great relief took over both of our beings. We slept like babies last night, even though everything, including the bed, pillows, clothes, floors all were damp from salt water having poured into the galley and v-berth hatches every now and then during those two days. Incredible relief we both felt this morning, as the sun peeked its way out from beneath the clouds; how I took for granted the warmth of the Fiji temperature and the calmness inside the bay where we spent our last evening. I made a big brunch, trying to use up lots of the food we have not been able to eat since we left, and we both sat out in the cockpit with smiles on our faces. Of course, who knows what will happen next, but right now we are grateful for the calm. Our position is S 29 01' E 172 35' and we have about 400 nm to go to Opua, the Bay of Islands. The weather reports are favorable so keep your fingers and toes crossed. Love to you, S & D