Lat: 26 46.572′ S
Lon: 177 48.685′ E (<– We’re in the Eastern Hemisphere now!)

It’s getting cold! At sunrise this morning it was mid-60’s in the salon and it’s colder outside, especially with the wind, and we’re only halfway. Yesterday I dug out a long sleeve shirt and I think today may be the day to see what I have in terms of pants. God forbid we have to find socks and shoes, but I think the time is coming — my feet feel frozen after walking on deck barefoot. I hope you stink less in the cold, because cockpit showers are going to be getting a little more invigorating.

As expected, our sailing winds have deserted us. The night before last we had to motor to keep our speed up. Sunrise was calm, and without much wind to disturb the surface the seas were in shiny, lumpy swells reflecting the brilliant colors of the sunrise. By 9 am, though, the wind had picked up considerably, the southern horizon was dark with rain and clouds, and we were in a squall. The strong winds lasted all day and if it weren’t for a Stugeron (seasickness medication that’s not available in the US), I think I would have been feeding the fish again. Seasickness is really an amazingly unpleasant experience; trying to keep the boat in shape and moving at a good speed when you’re putting off even necessities like bathroom stops for hours in the hopes that you’ll feel better or avoid puking is next to impossible, but we’ve been lucky with good winds and other crew that feel better.

Last night the wind slackened and moved around to right on the nose, and it will probably stay that way for a day or two, so we’re making headway on one of the iron jibs (engines). We knew we were going to run into a fair amount of light wind with our choice of departure date, but it’s better than a gale right on the nose, which is common winter weather around here.

The boat seems to be taking the pounding it’s been getting pretty well, which is good, because we’ll probably have one more round of it before we make landfall in the land of confiscation and peeing inside. Believe it or not, we actually had multiple conversations (not initiated by me) regarding the barbaric first-world practice of banning peeing outside into the ocean and forcing men to use the little boat head. This is causing some consternation among the males headed for New Zealand, and after several months in more remote locals, I am feeling a similar sentiment. The other funny conversation we’ve had repeatedly about New Zealand is the “they’re going to take that away” conversation. New Zealand has pretty aggressive biosecurity rules and the list of things we’ve been told will be confiscated includes all fresh fruit and vegetables, meat (even canned meat produced in New Zealand and purchased in the islands), beans, rice, shells, coral picked up on the beach, woven souvenirs, tapa, etc. It can’t be that bad, but it will be interesting to see what we’re left with for dinner after clearing in.