For the 1,200mile crossing of the Tasman Sea, I have 2 competent crew members Andre (in centre) and Kevin (on right).

I did a quick snorkel on the new propellers to make double sure they were not going to cause us any problems. Everything was perfect.

After going through all the paperwork with Australian customs, we are allowed to leave.

It was a quick run across Morton Bay

Around Cape Morton

And then it was Open Ocean

 

Andre, enjoyed the sun rising on his morning watch.

I had built up Kevin and Andre’s expectations of sashimi yellow fin tuna for lunch, but they were not interested in the lures I was using. I did manage to hook something big enough the bend an expensive high quality hook. I even pulled out the 22cm “Bonga Jerk” lure, but to no avail.

Via the satphone we were able to download the weather forecast twice a day. The first night out the week forecast started, showing a 30-35kt SEly change as we would have been a few days out of the New Zealand. This was confirmed over the next few days

While 30-35kts on the nose, would have been a good challenge to our seaman ship, we did have the option of pulling into Lord Howe Island (LHI) until it had past.

……No Brainer……., so we diverted course to LHI.

Getting there 58hrs after leaving the Marina in Brisbane, 450miles at an average of 7.7kt. The breeze was predominantly forward of the beam at 7kts.

Just prior to dusk LHI appeared on the Horizon

We anchored off the passage into the lagoon, to enter the lagoon the following morning.

The local policeman, who is also the harbour master, guided us through the narrow passage via VHF, to a mooring buoy in the lagoon.

It was surreal being in a lagoon in the middle of the ocean.

After the full on of watches throughout the night, it was time to enjoy a drink and a laugh.

We ate dinner at one of the local restaurants the first night

The second night we picked up a BBQ pack from the butcher and took “Albert” the dingy to North Beach for a BBQ

In the middle of a blue water passage we are eating BBQed Scotch Fillet and gourmet sausages (to quote Kevin “how good is this”)

There was a dive place on the island so it was a no brainier that I got in a few dives in water as clear as gin, and 24/25C.

28

Because LHI is so isolated it have evolved its own unique fish species.

This one is a variant on a Mouri Wrasse

There are couple of butterfly fish species unique to LHI

This slug was close to half a metre long

And this small moray eel was very photogenic.

Numerous times in the past I have attempted unsuccessfully, to get a photo of a cleaner wrasse in action, finally success.

And then within an hour of the predicted, weather forecast we had been getting for the last 5 days, the SEly change came through and the tranquil lagoon was covered in white caps.

The weather forecast, once the front is past, is 4-5days of 15-20kts winds aft of the beam, so it should be a nice quick sail for the remaining 700miles to the top of New Zealand (NZ), then 100miles down the east coast to Opua, the closest port for NZ Customs clearance.