Tasman Crossing

The crossing of the Tasman Sea was expected to be well timed and with calm seas. The previous week or two the high had dominated the area but on the night before we left a deep intense low formed off Brisbane.  This caused SE winds to blow and whipped up the sea.  All the forecast indicated that the low would dissipate so we set off across the Tasman.  The first night the wind was on the nose so we had to sail NNE into a rising wind and increasing seas.  The next day the wind did not drop as expected but increased another 5 to 10 knots.  It was as if the bar had been raised.  At this stage we had three reefs in the main, no genoa and only the smallest slab staysail.

The boat was travelling at 6 knots with the waves coming over the bow quarter. The Fleming windvane was working well keeping the boat on course almost on the rumb line to New Zealand.  The storm continued for three days with the highest wind noted at 47knots.  The next day the wind dropped and we had some good sailing under overcast skies.  We got the rod out and did some very successful fishing. For the next three days we did not see the sun let alone the horizon because we were shrouded in a thick fog.  It was motoring and watching the radar.  The fog did not lift until we were motoring into Opua New Zealand to clear customs.

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