Z E N I T U D E
Blue Water Dreaming
From Lord Howe Island to Noumea - Back on the Pacific Ocean
Leaving Lord Howe Island - (31.31.62S 159.02.82E) Day 1
We left LHI today at noon towards Noumea on a perfect day for motoring.
A nice day with no wind, but we decided to leave anyway, ahead of a front that should catch up with us some time early Friday and bring favorable winds.
We could have waited for the front to pass and leave behind it but there is a stronger front developing and our weather guru recommended to get in Noumea by Monday, ahead of this second front.
Mustang Sally, left just behind us and we have set a radio schedule to be in touch during the trip.
Passage - 1 to 6 May 2013
As we were leaving LHI behind we could see splashing ahead, initially wondering what was there, we then realized a couple of whales were having some fun but they got picture shy and disappeared before we could take a good shot just to reappear when we were long gone past.
Spot the whales splash
Day 2 - 02/05 - (29.48.64S-160.28.92E) - 128 miles
Motoring until 4:00 AM when a little wind came and we were able to open sails and get on with motor sailing. Later on a good wind came, 15 to 20 knots in the back and we are enjoying good sailing today.
There are a few squalls around now and we think the front may be approaching. Hopefully, it will weaken by the time it catch up with us, anyway we are expecting a squally night.
Second day at sea is always tiring, even though today is an easy day, we still have to get in the rhythm of days and nights at sea.
Leaving LHI behind
First night at sea approaching fast
Mustang Sally somewhere out there
not far behind
Last night we had 2 mild squalls and a third nasty that took us by surprise. It created havoc on board for about 20 minutes. Other than that the night was uneventful and we did good speed.
Today we are having a good run with seas a bit high but coming from behind so it is quite comfortable. The wind at 15 to 20 S-SSE is just perfect. We are trying to keep up the speed and go as much north as possible before the next front comes on Sunday night.
At least all these fronts are giving us the wind in the right direction, something very uncommon for this leg of the trip. Tomorrow we expect less wind and calmer conditions. On day 3, we are still quite tired.
Day 3 - 03/05 - (27.57.13S -162.02.96E) - 138 miles
A pleasant day, with light winds at 10 to 15 knots from SW. The only issue is the wind direction just dead on the back which makes it almost impossible to keep course.
We've been motor sailing to help keeping up the speed and try to arrive in Noumea on Monday with day light. News from our weather guru are good, it seems that the approaching front will have weaken by the time it gets to us, with winds no higher than 20kn. With day 4 being a boring day we've been able to rest and feel much better today.
Day 4 - 04/05 - (26.01.63S -163.39.32E) - 144 miles
Early on Monday we are just 25 miles from the entrance to Noumea, happily arriving after 5 days of a good trip considering we didn't have to beat to the prevailing trade winds neither we were caught in a strong front, the ones that Australia delivers every 3 or 4 days to this part of the ocean.
Once more, the weather forecast from Roger was excellent and his updates during the trip were spot on.
Day 5 - 05/05 - (24.05.23S 165.08.32E) - 141 miles
Day 6 - 06/05 - (24.05.23S 165.08.32E) - 120 miles
Today is Sunday and it is another pleasant day. Light winds again from the SW at 10 t 15 knots. Zenitude is going along in her trawler mode, motoring for the past 18 hours.
After a beautiful warm and sunny day the weakened front arrived during the night as expected with cold rain and no wind. It doesn't look very pleasant out there at the moment, and we hope it will improve before arrival.
The highlight of the day is the Mahi-Mahi Oscar caught in the late afternoon.
Entering Boularis Pass
Now we can see New Caledonia ahead. It is a rainy day and we are approaching the "Passe de Boularis" to get into the lagoon.
The pass is easy and we enter the big lagoon. It will take us about 3 hours to navigate the lagoon and arrive in Port Moselle, where boats coming from overseas need to clear with customs, immigration and agriculture.
Finally, at around 1.00PM we enter the marina and dock at the visitors pontoon. We have arrived.
Port Moselle Marina
Happy arrival, time to raise courtesy and quarantine flags
The squall over New Caledonia