The windy wet weather has finally passed over and a high is settling in over the north island. We checked out of New Zealand at Marsden Cover and departed around 3 pm in the wake of a dozen other cruisers who are bound also for Fiji as well as New Caledonia. It is currently very dark under an intense starry sky and we are passing the Poor Knights islands - a marine preserve north of Whangarei. The boat is rolling along in a light swell and we are making about 4.5 to 5 knots under reefed main and jib.
We managed to re-assemble the autopilot mount, which had delaminated in only a year. The new mount is sealed with multiple layers of epoxy. I painted a coat of primer on the sheer stripe but had no opportunity to do the red coats, so Ladybug is all cream and white with no name on her aft end yet. We also found an engine stop cable to replace the seized one, but again there was no dry period to install this so the string running through a ring zip-tied to an exhaust hose will do for now! Also, our Pactor modem is acting up, so do not be surprised if there is a large gap in blog updates and emails.
Our position at 9pm NZ time was 35 28 S 174 47 E.