Bravo is at sea at last!!! We've had 2 excellent days of sailing. A bit lumpier than we'd prefer, perhaps, but the miles have been sliding by. 164 miles on day 1, then noon today showed 165 nm for day 2. Wind has been behind us all the way, averaging 12-25 knots. The nights, especially, have been very squally, with brief heavy showers and gusty winds up to 42 kn. We've had 1 or 2 reefs in the mainsail most of the time, and have had good luck with our genoa poled out for stability in the swells, now running around 10 feet. Makes for some great surfing runs on the gusts!!! Yeee hah!
Looking at weather maps (GRIB files) received over HF radio, and in discussions with meteorologist Bob McDavitt, we see a trough developing as we approach Fiji next week, bringing northerly (head) winds of around 20 kn. Not fun sailing. So we're planning on stopping and anchoring at Minerva Reef, an amazing formation in the middle of the pacific where boats can anchor and get shelter from the seas, though not the wind, as there is no land showing at high tide. The idea is to hang out at Minerva until the northerly winds pass, then proceed the last few hundred miles to Fiji.
So all is going great aboard, and it's terrific to see how all of the improvements made to Bravo over the past months in NZ are performing at sea.
It is C-O-L-D, at night, especially. We really can't wait to get another couple of days north so we can pack away all of the fleece, boots, gloves, and hats!
Haven't been fishing in the rough seas, so no fish to report, and no flying fish in these cold waters. Have seen a couple of beautiful albatrosses soaring around us with their 10' wingspans, and a few sooty terns fishing in the whitecaps.
current location at 2pm today (6/20 west of dateline, 6/19 east):
30 deg 52 min S latitude, 176 deg 58 min E longitude
480 miles to go to N. Minerva reef
the BRAVO crew