Today is our 5th night at sea since Minerva, 10 days since we left Tonga.
We are officially in NZ waters, within the 200 Nm zone that countries claim as their own territorial waters. Not that the birds, or fish or jellyfish we have seen today know about that, but people do.
People like Ramon and Angel, two Spaniards from Galicia who run Carmen Tere, a Spanish fishing vessel as captain and 1st officer. We run into them on our sail south today and the surprise was obviously big on both sides. We got to speak on the radio for quite a while, basically them explaining the way they fish.
They trawl fishing lines, 60 Nm long with up to 1.300 hooks with bait on each of them and fish for sailfish. It takes them 9 hours to deploy the lines and 6 to get them back on board. They use Auckland as a base and get back home every 4 months. They were fishing outside the NZ waters boundary but are still obliged to have a licence despite being in international waters and are monitored through two blue boxes (similar to the black boxes on planes), one for the Spanish authorities and one for the Kiwi authorities. The world is divided in fishing zones and every boat fishing in international waters is monitored through the entities controlling each zone, the West Zone in this case controlled via NZ.
We are still crossing the High Pressure center, little wind, thus motoring. That has given us time to get the boat clean, inside and outside. When you get bashed on sea the boat ends up pretty messed up. Outside there is salt everywhere and since we were sailing so fast the other night we ended up crashing into many flying fish (or better they crashing into us) which messes up the boat as well. Nils went on deck to collect them the next morning (he loves doing that and playing with the smelly fish afterwards) and counted 15, some of them really big. They leave a trace of scales and blood on deck.
Inside gets dirty and salty as well since we get wet outside and then walk inside bringing salt into the boat.
So it has been a profitable day. We have taken some bags with clothes from the bilges as well. Warm clothes!!
It is getting chilly, we get down to 17 Celsius (lower 60s in Fahrenheit) at night and our tropical uniform of barefoot, shorts and T-shirt is no good here anymore.
We even have gotten wool caps out and are wearing shoes with socks, which we hadn’t done since we were in Mexico City last March.
200 Nm to go, everybody is very excited. Fair weather stays so it looks like we will have had a good crossing. But there are still 200 miles!
All well on board.