Rougher seas ahead

We are currently at 10° 54′ 37″ S 129° 9′ 5.57″ W, still en route to Auckland, New Zealand.

We enjoyed calm seas consistently for the first half of the trip and all the way to the Equator, but on Thursday the rocking started picking up. It seemed to get worse at night—enough to wake me in the early morning. Since yesterday, the swells have been about two meters high and the waves about half a meter. We hit them at an angle, which makes the bow of the ship bounce a little to the right, and a little to the left, a little to the right, a little to the left.

Coupled with the frequent time zone changes, I finally took a sleeping pill last night. When I laid down, it felt like I was on a fever-induced magic carpet ride, as if the bed were sliding one way, and then stopping, and then sliding the other way and then stopping (because of the swells, not the pills!). Yet it was also somewhat soothing, being rocked from side to side. At least I was able to sleep through the night.

The crew likes to taunt us that it only gets rougher the closer we get to New Zealand, so apparently this is the new reality. On the positive side, after enduring several days of grey and cloudy skies since leaving Balboa, the weather has improved markedly. Yesterday was particularly beautiful, so for the first time, we climbed up on top of the bridge, and I made this panorama out of ten separate photos.

Above the bridge of the Cap Cleveland

Panorama from above the bridge of the Cap Cleveland

Update: Eric Rewitzer used my photo above as the basis for a painting entitled Above the Bridge.


I check the NPAC and SPAC storms daily, for a different reason… about a week later that New Zealand storm is going to translate into waves for moi! Check out: Surfline and here’s what it says for the upcoming South Swell:

SOUTH PACIFIC SWELL/SURF ACTIVITY: Vigorous storm activity recently develop in the southern portion of the Tasman Sea and under New Zealand. These storm systems have been setting up a strong wind-fetch pointed toward the West Coast over the Tasman Sea, where it gradually slides eastward over New Zealand and into the Pacific. As a result, a long dose of SW groundswell energy will slowly build into CA late this weekend and hold through much of next week.

However, due to the origin of these SW’erly swells, the energy will be heavily split/shadowed by New Zealand, then filtered through the many islands of the South Pacific before finally reaching California. Nonetheless, we are still looking for some fun size waves to make it into the southerly exposures next week. NOTE – Beachbreaks with a good balance to the SW and WNW swells will offer some crossed up peaks/bowls.


Seems Auckland is north of the roaring 40s, so it won’t get too bad. :D

Pretty dramatic rocking on the boat today, and the swells don’t even seem that much bigger. At one point a glass of water slid off the desk—only casualty so far. It’s like being on a permanent carnival ride, except that when we’re in the room, we don’t see anything happening, we just feel the acceleration and deceleration in our guts, about every 10-15 seconds. It’s pretty comical actually. If it wasn’t for the food, I’d expect to walk off the ship with abs of steel.


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