Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgivacha from Visions of Johanna;

We are tied up at Gulf Harbour Marina, after a 2 day sail down the coast, stopping in Bay of Islands and Tutukaka. We enjoyed a dueling chickens Thanksgiving dinner (Steve's first) with our AmeriKiwi friends Ralph and Sharon from Kastaway.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday

Warmest regards from Visions of Johanna

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Opua here we come

Day 5 0615
23 nm from Bay of Islands
SOG - 9.8 kn

Partly sunny
Wind 18-23 Kn ENE
Bar 1014
Seas 6' ENE

Our boatspeed remains impressive, averaging 9.6 kn over the past 3 hours. We sailed through a short
rain squall on my watch last night and I closed the pilot house doors to keep the PH dry. It was
quite erie - we were speeding through the water but I could not appreciate it - with the doors closed
it was more like we were floating on a cushion of air.

It became unusually quiet as I could not hear the water rushing by. I could not see the swells passing
in the dark, and the rain flattened the seas so that I could not feel them - a very strange sensation
when you look up and you are hitting 11.2 knots and you can't feel it, seemingly skipping above the
swells. (note: we run a dry boat on passage so it is not what you are thinking).

Another fantastic 24 hour run. We will be in Opua around 10:30 AM so the 1025 nm passage will take us
5 days and 2 hours, or just about 202 nm per day for 5 days. That ain't shabby!

All is well on board. The Captain knows a good thing when he has it, and declares an extra ration of
grog tonight for this fabulous crew (and one for the captain too!).

Smooth seas,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 4 - Aka "we sure are saving on diesel"

7:30 am local time
31 17.6S/174 58.2E
SOG - 9.0
COG - 164 mag

Wind 22-27 Kn ENE, gusting 30 Kn
Bar 1015
Seas 6' ENE

Fast tracks continue. Winds were a bit eased yesterday as we carried the jib in the morning, and reacher
for the better part of the afternoon. Jib went back up late afternoon as wind has slowly increased over
the past 12 hours. We are now flying a reefed high clewed jib with staysail averaging 9 knots with wind
just abaft the beam. Perhaps a bit more breeze than the ideal, but these conditions were
anticipated and they would have been even more boisterous if we hadn't screamed south the past 3 days.

Kudos to Ken McKinley who stated "go south, fast boat" - or something to that effect

We will do just over 200 nm in these past 24 hours. Unfortunately I am not sure we will be graced with
that elusive yellowfin, as even I am a bit hesitant to think about boarding a fish in these conditions. We
are not suffering gastronomically, however: we enjoyed lamb sausage subs with onions and capsicum (green
and red peppers) for lunch and beef bourgignon with fresh beans and carrots for tea (dinner).

248 nm to go, and I am anticipating a late Thursday morning arrival (tomorrow!!).
All is well on board.

Smooth seas,


Monday, November 18, 2013

Fiji to Opua Day 4

0730 NZT Tuesday, Nov. 19 - Day 4
27 41.2S/174 49.7E
SOG - 8.6 - 9  kn
COG - 156 mag

Clouds with light overcast
Wind 15 kn NE

A great day, yesterday was - a steady 15-18 knots abeam with easing seas, and the sailing was easy. By early
afternoon the reacher went up and we were over 10 knots the rest of the day. Jib came back for the evening, but
the winds continued to slowly ease and reacher went back up at 10 PM. We have slowly been heading up
(more into the wind for all you land-lubbers) to maximize apparent wind and boatspeed, as our Weather guru
Ken McKinley from Locus Weather in Maine says to keep making tracks south - so we just keep on truckin'.
Steve and I have told Tony he shouldn't get used to this (apart from paying our dues the first 36 hours) as
the light beam seas do not create a roll as downwind sailing might...and there is no upwind pounding at all.
It can't last forever but perhaps just 2 more days?

And, we are making good on our southerly progress. We left the tropics behind yesterday and are making
fast tracks toward Opua. I grant you that it is no longer hot and sticky, but when I awakened this morning
to stand my watch, there was Steve - in his fleece! Kind of wimpy, if you ask me, for a guy that
keeps talking about polar expeditions.

The meals were superb yesterday. We enjoyed burgers (ground mince) and cole slaw for lunch, and chicken
Parmesan and pasta with fresh tomato (as in potato) sauce for tea (dinner). It is not easy writing for
a multi-national audience!

We will do 197 nm over 24 hours, and that includes slowing down to board a fish, as Steve caught
another Mahi Mahi. We have also given two back, and lines are out as I write seeking that elusive yellowfin.
Either way, Tony will be packing a load of fish when he heads home.

455 nm to go, and I am hoping for a mid Thursday afternoon arrival.
All is well on board.

Smooth seas,


Fiji to Opua Day 3

0715 NZT Monday, Nov. 18
24 08.39S\175 19.48E

Mostly Sunny sky
Wind East, 17 - 20 knots through the night
Bar 1018

Good morning from Visions of Johnna,

We are fairly flying along, speeding at mid-nines to ten knots through the night. Seas have eased a bit, around 6' but still from 2 directions. Minimal slamming or wave jumping, though. We have covered 204 nm in last 24 hours.

Enjoyed some good American comfort food last night for dinner - meatloaf with fresh green beans and mashed potatoes. We are settling nicely into routines and I have heard no mentions of mutiny yet. We will put out some lines and see if Neptune has anything to offer.

All is well.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

0845 NZT Sunay, Nov. 17
20 39.10S\176 14 73#
Hello from Visions of Johanna. We are rolling along, and doing a bit of rocking too, with steady winds 22-26 knots ESE. Wave patterns are still at odds, but have become a bit better as we put distance between us and Fiji.
We'll have traveled about 180 nm in the first 24 hours, and that includes departure motoring, raising sails, and catching Mahi-Mahi. Currently COG is 185 mag, and we have been averaging over 8.5 knots easy. The decks are officially very clean and we are well. We have 880 nm to go.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ready fpr departure

Hello all. Steve Brown, Tony Pope, and I will leave Fiji tomorrow morning, bound for Opua New Zealand. Weather looks good and this multinational crew plans to have a fun and fast passage. As usual, Ken McKinley (Locus Weather,.com) is providing routing assistance, and I am hopeful for a fast trip...which means we will have to eat early and often to make a dent in our stores.

I will send daily updates which will be real time in NZ, near 1 PM in Maine, and near 7 PM in France, or England, or where ever Steve is from these days (tomorrow might be a bit off schedule). We look forward to your low bandwidth replies, and as always, you can follow us on

Calm sea for everyone,


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