Routine? Maybe Not.

Whatever routine I’ve been gradually establishing for the last month in San Carlos didn’t make it into my sail bag as I boarded the plane to New Zealand. I was about to embark on an ocean sailing adventure where nothing is routine and nothing is taken for granted.

After meeting skipper Tom in Auckland, we took the bus north to Marsden Cove Marina, where I rejoined as crew on the 50-foot ocean-cruising sailboat Avalon.  Even though I’ve helped Tom and Di with five previous passages, I still felt privileged to be back on board.

Our goal is to sail 1,200 miles north to Fiji to escape the winter season in New Zealand.  If all goes well, our port of entry into Fiji this year will be Savusavu, on the smaller island of Vanau Levu.  On previous passages, we’ve sailed into Nadi, on the larger island of Viti Levu.

For the last few days, I’ve stayed aboard Avalon at the marina, getting reacquainted with systems and assisting with various boat jobs like changing sails, securing gear, filling fuel cans and water tanks, etc.

In between boat jobs, I’ve refueled at the Land & Sea Cafe and relaxed in the Marsden Cove Marina clubroom.

Unfortunately, a nasty low-pressure system is rolling by the North Island this week, bringing with it heavy rain, high wind, and rough seas.  So, we are sitting tight.  We booked an Airbnb for a few nights to stock up on sleep. When the weather clears and the sea settles, we hope to depart; but it’s hard to say exactly when that might be.

For now, we wait patiently…

Reunited with SV Avalon.

Reunited with SV Avalon.

Changing the headsail.

Changing the headsail.

The Marsden Cove Marina clubroom at sunset.

The Marsden Cove Marina clubroom at sunset.

Classic eggs-on-toast breakfast at Land & Sea Cafe.

Classic eggs-on-toast breakfast at Land & Sea Cafe.

Staying at an Airbnb at the top of this hill.

Staying at an Airbnb at the top of this hill.

Walking into the town of Ruakaka from the Airbnb.

Walking into the town of Ruakaka from the Airbnb.