Numbers galore

Some days are all about numbers!

0600 is the time we got up to set sail

414 is the number of nautical miles from Norfolk Island to New Caledonia if we can travel in a straight line (rarely possible)

8 is the number 0f knots we need to average in order to get to New Caledonia in 2 days.

2 days would make it a very fast sail however we also have some time pressure as to when we can arrive. If we arrive after 2pm to the lagoon entrance we won’t make it into the marina until after they close so we wont be able to check in.

If we are close to making it before 5 we could possibly anchor outside the marina however we need to have our anchor down well before dark from a safety perspective.

If we don’t make it to the lagoon entrance until after 4pm then we will need to spend another night a sea sailing around as it is too dangerous to enter an unknown harbour/anchorage after dark, and we really don’t want to be spending another night rolling around at sea if we can help it

As we expected the sail has been quite boisterous we have been in 15knots of wind coming from the east. I am guessing these numbers as our annonometer (wind gauge) stopped working about 3 days ago. So it is giving us neither direction or wind speed. Although occasionally it freaks out and spins around like a 3 year old holding a compass and gives weird wind readings along with strange directions.

So we have gone back to the old fashioned way of working out wind speed.

Glassy water - no wind

Small ripples - 5 knots

Medium ripples/small waves 10 knots

Small waves with the occasional white splash 15 knots

Consistent white splashes off waves 15-20

(you get the idea)

000 - which is the healing for due north is what we have our autopilot set to.

3 is the height of the waves in meters that are hitting the side of the boat from an easterly direction. Given that we are travelling due north this is a VERY uncomfortable angle for waves to be striking the boat. These waves were predicted to come from the south east which would make for a much more pleasant sail, but alas it is not to be.

The final number - the most important one by far is 29 degrees not the temperature (although that would be nice also) but the latitude that we started at today.

So since we left Airlie beach our latitude has been getting higher in number as we headed south. And, for the last 5 months we have done nothing but head south into temperatures that have been getting cooler and cooler. For the last 6 weeks we have been heading east but almost on the exact same latitude so we have been hanging around the 29-30 degree latitude. Which has been quite cool since it is May and heading into winter. BUT, in these net 2 days we will go from 29 degrees latitude to 22 degrees, and as those numbers drop the temperature should come up.

That 22 degrees latitude should push the temperatures up from 19-21 to a whopping 26 degrees, which will make me a very happy camper.

At the moment I am sitting at the helm, wearing 2 pairs of tracksuit pants, socks and ugg boots, a thick jumper, a sailing jacket and a beanie and I’m still shivering just a little bit (and it is 10.45 am).

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