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Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier – Thursday 31-12-09

December 31st, 2009 · No Comments

Last day of the year. A time to reflect and make resolutions.

With wind in 30’s we hung around Coromandel yesterday. Had mates over and played poker last night – well done Luke.

This morning we did boat work – some minor repairs, some cleaning. Forecast was improving so at about midday we decided to stick our nose out of the harbour and see for ourselves what the weather was like.

Sea was moderate and a cold south wester was blowing at about 20 knots so we kept going. We’d already given up on the Merc’s and were heading directly for Great Barrier. So we ploughed our way up the Coromandel keeping about a mile off-shore. Wind got up a bit and as we cleared Cape Colville and sea worsened to rough.

A dolphin surfaced next to us – gave Rob a hell of a fright. At time I thought it was to wish us luck – but in retrospect was probably saying “turn back you mad bastards”.

Had a very rough sail from Cape Colville to Channell Island – felt like we were in a washing machine with wind gusting to high 20’s and big confused breaking swells. Tiller pilot (schitzophrenic Ernie/Fred) did not cope so we (Rob!) hand steered most of the way. Should have reefed main – but have not yet put reefing lines on our new main.

Only comfort was we could see sails off Great Barrier – helps knowing you are not the only boat at sea. Until we got close enough to recognise Spirit of New Zealand – she does not count as another yachtie!

After Channell Island seas and wind eased a little and we got to Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier at about 7:00 p.m. 48 mile trip and we averaged about 7 knots an hour so a very fast trip.

It has become something of a tradition to heat up potato and leek soup after a hard or cold trip. I keep about a dozen cans onboard – Zinkwazi is a well provisioned boat. So soup and left overs for tea.

Fitzroy is busy – all our usual ancorages are full so we are anchored in about 14m (at high tide) and have a truck load of chain out. But good holding and we will leave anchor watch on overnight.

Reflections – I have not yet been seasick – probably because I’ve had time to get used to motion. Usually we cover some distance in our first days.

Resolutions – learn dolphin.

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