Ended up departing Opua on 6 nov 09 at the beginning of a tasman high and arrived in Brisbane on the 20 nov after a great trip. Was becalmed the first night about 30nm Ne of Opua until about midnight when a SSE breeze came up . This strengthened to 20- 25kn for the next few days and we ate up the miles ,it then eased and finally droped out completely around halfway on about day 6. Sat around for 1 1/2 days . motored about 100nm ,then got a 10- 15KN breeze from the SW for a couple of days . This then swung NW and rose to 25-35kn with a lumpy, sea with a confused swell.. Hove to for a day and a half. This was very comfortable first under storm trisail with the tiller lashed , then under double reefed main with the aries steering as high as it could . This was better as we actually made slight headway with less leeward drift. Not strictly hove to as we were making about 1 kn of progress westward. After this it dropped out again and the remainder of the trip was light with calm periods.
I took a northerly route so that I headed up above 30 degrees towards Norfolk Is to try stay out of the middle of the high or any late cold fronts that came along. I think this worked except for a couple of calm days . The high dominated most time with no fronts to worry about.
All in all an uneventful trip with No breakages or problems . Clarity II handled all the conditions very well and felt safe and controlled at all times . Had only one wave in the cockpit which half filled but drained quickly . Saw many whales and dolfins and a sea lion. Past two yachts heading East, and one ship going south right on the shipping lane.
Where to next ? . Maybe north to Cairns ,across to the Louisiades , Solomons ........... probably a way off yet. Have to make a living again.