Lat: 31 39.076′ S
Lon: 176 17.572′ E

Sometime today may be the lucky day. With constants winds on the nose, I can hardly remember the last time we were able to sail the rhumb line. We have lighter winds for the first time in several days, so we’re able to motor into the wind and waves and make 3.5+ knots along the rhumb line or just west of it. Normally that would be bad news, but it’s good given the last several days. Sometime tonight we should finally catch a break and get some good winds from the W and NW that will let us sail the rest of the way in at a reasonable pace. We’re supposed to give NZ 48 hours notice of our arrival, and we’ll probably do that sometime today or tomorrow via e-mail. We should also be able to eat a bag of chips that we’ve been saving for the 200 miles mark.

The last few days have involved a lot of sail adjustments, reefing the main, dropping it when we’re passing a squall or the wind gets too strong, roller reefing the jib in strong winds and letting it out when the wind lightens up, trying to sail as close to the wind as possible so that we’re not giving up too much distance off course when tacking, and tacking to find the best angle relative to the wind and our destination. Overall, it’s been pretty frustrating since about latitude 26 degrees south to make such slow, uncomfortable progress, but at least it’s been dry nearly all of the time. The days have been a mixture of sunny and overcast, with the sunny times being cool but pleasant. We had been getting accustomed to morning squalls, but we now seem more likely to get them in the afternoon. Night watches are times for sock caps, gloves, shoes, and a blanket to hide under when you ‘re not outside checking for ships or adjusting the sails.

Other than that, there’s not a lot to report. We’ve seen only one ship this passage, a cargo vessel that passed a few miles in front of us headed west. Tiff had a funny experience when she opened the door to the starboard head the other morning. There on the floor was a good-sized (about 10″ long) dead squid! It had jumped in through the open port during the night and expired on the head floor. Yesterday morning Lauren and Tiff saw a group of dolphins, which seems like a sign of nearby land and good luck. Other than sea birds, we hadn’t seen much in the way of marine life on this passage.