May 2

We finally left Tauranga and New Zealand today. At about 11:15 we motored over to the fuel dock to top off our tanks and by noon we were motoring past Mount Maunganui and into the Bay of Plenty. At first the wind was moderate at 15-20k but by 2pm it was 30k steady and by 3pm it was 35k.

It is now 4pm and we have reefed twice to calm the boat and are now making about 7k on a heading of 24 degrees True. The wind is on the port beam with an apparent wind angle of about 110.

Our objective is Fiji via Minerva Reef and the total distance is app. 830nm (nautical miles). Fiji is another 430nm North of Minerva. We plan to stop at Minerva, weather permitting, for some days and then wonder up to Fiji after that.

It is now 6:30pm, already very dark and the wind has remained fairly steady in the 20-30k range since 4pm. We are making 6.5 - 7k over ground and the Monitor windvane is steering the boat.