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Passage under spinnaker. Great!
It's wonderful crossing oceans under spinnaker!

Friends of ours had gotten pretty beat-up sailing from New Caledonia to Brisbane, Australia, but our passage was generally delightful.  A high-pressure system had stalled a bit west of New Zealand and was generating a steady E to ESE wind-flow across the Coral Sea (highs generate counter-clockwise winds in the southern hemisphere).  The high had actually been there for much of the time we were enjoying New Caledonia, but we couldn't leave because we still had Tianna on board (and we were having too much fun in New Cal).

Unfortunately, by the time we were ready to leave, so was the high - they usually march from west to east pretty quickly, alternating between a high and a low about every 4 days.  Luckily, there was another high behind the first one (the intervening low had gone further south, clobbering those boats that went to Lord Howe Island and Sydney).  Between the 2 highs was an area of squirrelly winds, but they didn't look too bad - just a narrow band with mainly light and variable winds.

So on Monday, 7 November 2005, we jumped off from Amedee Island in New Caledonia, several hours behind Peregrinata and almost a day ahead of Scud (although we actually arrived in reverse order, which was expected).  The highs caused us to follow a fairly curved track as we sought to second-guess the wind, but our course decisions seemed to be good ones.

Although the passage was generally fairly calm, the GPS says that somewhere along the way we hit 15 knots!  The following are our noon positions and statistics as we sailed from New Caledonia to Australia (wind speeds and directions are apparent, not true):

November
2005
South
Latitude
East
Longitude
Days
Run
Miles
to go
Wind
Speed
Wind
Direction
Comments
Mon 7 22 29' 166 28' 0 840 14-15 135 Leave New Caledonia via Boulari Pass
Tue 8 23 22' 164 06' 142 698 12-18 90-150 Morning squalls, then nice sailing.
Wed 9 23 54' 161 22' 156 542 15-17 90-170 Beautiful sailing, wind backs at night
Thurs 10 24 06' 159 03' 131 411 12->7 150-180 Repaired spinnaker, wind dying
Fri 11 25 43' 157 40' 128 283 0-20! 90->70 Light winds early, then it fills in
Sat 12 26 29' 155 21' 137 146 16->10 90-150 Spinnaker by day, squalls at night
Sun 13 27 26' 153 14' 146 0 9-16 70-130 Anchor at Green Island, off Manly
marina, with Scud & Peregrinata

The newsletters we sent while on passage are shown by date, plus we've included other letters we sent once we arrived in Australia to augment our Australia Destinations pages!

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