I confess to a beer at lunch today, justified on grounds of its palliative action on a stomach that was displaying vague symptoms of upset. It was just the thing.
Victory drinks at the end of our passage from the Auckland Islands, though, will have to be delayed. We have decided to truck right on by our original destination of Dunedin, and are now entering the third night of the passage, bound for Akaroa, the Banks Peninsula, and Christchurch.
This decision to keep going is partly motivated by our suspicion of the traps that land lays for sailors. Our several weeks of isolation in some of the more out-of-the-way parts of En Zed means that we have a list of practicalities to take care of, and wherever we stop it will likely be for a while. So rather than have a longish stop in Dunedin, and then another in Christchurch, we have decided to just make it north while we have the opportunity. So we passed by the mountainous coast around Dunedin today at sunset, wondering who we might have met had we gone there, and what it might have been like.
The other motivation to keep heading north is, not surprisingly, the good traveling conditions that we are enjoying. The trip up from the Aucklands was raucous for the first eight hours or so, with plenty of swell on our port quarter and a fleet of massive trawlers to dodge. The next day, though, was sublime - the sea flat, the wind just strong enough to move us at seven knots, sunshine. The pelagic birds swooped everywhere around us, the boys played well together. That day, the roaring forties whispered. And though the forecast had led me to expect that we would lose the wind halfway to the South Island, it stayed with us, and the engine stayed off all the way until we had passed Nugget Pt., the eastern boundary of Foveaux Strait, that troublesome body of water at the southern end of New Zealand proper.
Now that the wind finally has left us, I am betting that since everything seems ok with the engine it will be game to get us through the twenty-four hours of no wind that is forecast to lie between us and Akaroa. The sun has just set behind the mountains of the South Island, the moon is half-full, and the unbelievable lights of a squid boat are beaming off the clouds on the horizon behind us. With any luck we'll just nick into Akaroa before nightfall tomorrow.
I'm ready to take a walk.