Tuesday 5 May, 4.49pm (aboard Chimere)

We are still doing over 6 kts, calm motion and lots of blue sky and sea. (sun’s just going down now, I’m a slow typist)

Position is 30 55 S 157 41 E, about 70 miles from Lord Howe. We should pass by 3:30am tomorrow.

It’s actually very warm at night below. Even in the cockpit it’s not really cold. Last night with the engine on, Martin set the laptop up on the closed hatch and we sat in the cockpit watching a DVD of the last grain races from Pt Victoria and the recollections of crew, who are now in advanced years. The film from the 1920s and 1930s of life in the Lat 50s and round Cape horn was a real reminder of what the sea can dish out. Very pleasant to view it, not experience it. (They didn’t have sailmail apparently)

Tuesday 5 May, 9.22 am (aboard Chimere)

After a day and a half of chugging along at 5 knots with the engine ticking over at 1400rpm, we have finally been joined by a steady breeze of 15 knots from the south east. Our speed is now a very respectable 7-8 knots and the motion is smooth with seas still only 1-2 metres (to turn knots into kilometres just multiply by about 1.8)

The 3-4 day forecast is excellent as we pass between Lord Howe and the Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs and head further north into the Tasman. On the chart we have received thru Sailmail, we can see a very powerful LOW pressure system down over the North Island of New Zealand, with winds over 40 knots and seas of 8 metres plus, fortunately we are just on the edge of it and will benefit from SE-SW winds of up to 20 knots over the next 4 days. Could not be better!!

At the moment we are keen to maintain a course more east than north in order to avoid the reefs – Bob’s done 5 Lord Howe races and has never seen Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs – and we all want to keep it that way, however, Will would like to get closer in order to maximise the fishing opportunities (just joking Andrew)

There does appear to be a northerly current hear which needs to be taken into account

Our position 31 11 S, 156 55 E

Smooth sea, fair breeze and may this be a long groove

Rob