Ricky Puts His Shorts On – Finally

Wednesday 24th May 2017

As I picked myself off the salon floor, made slippery by our sodden boots and lethal by the heavy seas, I felt I had hit, literally and metaphorically, a low point in this passage. We were both very tired, it has been a rough, grey and wet crossing, For a few moments I indulged in a wave of self pity, but it’s just us out here, no other option than to keep going, so we try to smile for each other and get on with whatever has to be done to get us to Fiji.

Rick securing the pole
We finally left New Zealand on Friday. All that week the forecasts swayed from good to bad and back again, each day the decisions onboard each boat swayed too and fro. It started to become apparent to us that there was never going to be a perfect time to leave. We took the decision at the very last minute as we walked to the customs office, swaying from cancelling our appointment, checking out, cancelling our appointment or checking out? We checked out, they are very strict in New Zealand, once you have your exit stamp, that’s it, no turning back.

Now we are hopefully through the worst of the passage it definitely feels like the right decision, the prospect of a Mojito in the Copra Shed Marina Bar in Savusavu, Friday night, encouraging us onward. There were times in the last couple of days  however, when the boredom, indecision and chilly weather of the last few weeks in Opua seemed like a luxury. Almost from the outset we have had messy seas and as the winds built to a steady 30+ knots the waves grew bigger and came round onto our beam. Two or three times a day one would hit us wrongly and crash over into the cockpit. Twice these waves were bid enough to fill the cockpit floor with six inches of water, add in the spray from waves over the bows and frequent showers it has been a very wet and unpleasant few days.


The movement below made life extremely difficult, having to put on and off our heavy wet weather gear, boots and life jackets each time we changed watch was exhausting. The niceties of life, all thoughts of writing a ‘finally left New Zealand’ blog, even trying to read, were quickly put aside. It was all we could do to make sure we ate something and got some sleep. Shares in our seasickness medication of choice, Stugeron, will be sky rocketing.

The hoped for increase in temperatures were also slow in coming, so when we got our first glimpse of sunshine yesterday our spirits rose. This turned out to be premature, the breaks in the clouds did indicate us moving from the NZ high pressure system into the tropical trade winds but it was accompanied by frequent violent wet and extremely gusty squalls. As we watched them track across the horizon our hearts would drop knowing that this ominous blackness was coming our way. In the worst to hit us we registered 60+ kts winds, the last thing we wanted in our bone weary state was to be constantly trimming the sails and fighting the now very rough sea.

Raya of course has, as always, not put a step wrong, she just ploughs on and on, shrugging off the high winds and riding out the large waves. Shame her crew can’t ride out the storms quite so easily.

Now through the front the weather has improved dramatically, the winds are a nice 22kts and with the easterly miles we fought to make early on, we are now sailing comfortably down wind. Rick has his shorts on and it is calm enough finally, for me to write this blog.

15 thoughts on “Ricky Puts His Shorts On – Finally

  1. Good to hear it’s improving – come this time next week it will all seems like a blur, maybe alcohol fuelled blur but dim past anyway. Hope the stugeron helps with the sickness caused by the shorts. – C

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  2. well that does not sound like much fun – hope by now you are thru the worst of it – what an adventure you are having though – wish I was there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Roz you write graphically with such emotion – transported me to being there – your stoic acceptance, bravery and teamwork shine through – what a fabulous, wonderful adventure together xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Words have failed us coming up with an adequate response. Glad your were able to dig deep and find the spirit to see yourself return to sunnier climes. Please ensure nowt but wonderful weather when we arrive next year.. love and hugs from two lightweights !! (R and R) xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done, You have made it Hope you enjoy your Mojito in the marina bar & a good rest after that thrilling ordeal sailing there. Good luck happy sailing et & Doug xx

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  6. Roz: Those photos are wonderful:Even sitting in a GP office in stinking hot London, the picture you paint makes me feel cold and a bit seasick.
    But I can have a get home gin in about 2 hours.
    And put my shorts on…
    Peter x

    Like

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