I'd consider that a likely scenario. Here are a few key facts:
1) They have an EPIRB
and have not activated it yet.
Based on this fact alone they are likely still making progress to Newcastle just slower than they thought.
2) Their position on June 2nd was 33°35' S 168°31' E. This is about 300nm from Opua over 3 days for an average speed of 100nm/day. If they'd continued at this pace they would have arrived in Newcastle around June 11th.
3) Their position on June 13th was 33 53 S 165 18 E. So they only made another 160nm of progress over 11 days for an average speed of less than 15nm/day. If they continued at this pace they should arrive in Newcastle by the end of July.
3) A boat like Nina is capable of faster paces like 200nm/day under the right conditions.
Those are the facts as I understand them (someone double check me). So now here's a bit of conjecture:
Probably their slow speed from June 2nd to 13th was due to heaving to waiting out bad weather or they were becalmed and chose not to motor
or had engine
problems, could be any number of things. I would expect that if the engine and sails/rigging were disabled enough that they couldn't make progress to Newcastle that they would have activated their EPIRB
. Since they haven't done so, they are most likely still underway and could well be getting close.
Does anyone have more information on the June 13th position report? The first I heard of it was the earlier post here. What was the source? Were they having any mechanical troubles at that time?