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Kowkairoa Bay, Whangaroa, Tuesday, 17 January, 2011

January 19th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Well the wind is blowing. Metservice were spot on in their forecast of 30 knots with gusts of up to 40 knots. Would not want to be out in open sea with sea stare of rough to very rough.

We anchored in Waitapu Bay and had cheese muffins for lunch. Lots of cheese, very yummy.

At about 3:00 the wind shifted and was coming into the bay, with gusts of 38 knots, so we shifted as well. With a north wester, we chose the western arm and got in as deep as we could, surrounded by nice high hills we have good protection and sea is calm. Although gusts in low-20’s are turning us around like a top.

After a bit of reading we got down to the serious business of the day – watching other boats anchor, and re-anchor, and try another spot and re-anchor, and drag and have to re-anchor. This includes admiration for the boats that do it well and lots of advice (which they can’t hear) for those screwing it up.

Anchoring is not hard, choose a spot with good holding, drop the anchor and reverse back till chain is laid out and anchor has set. Set is easy to feel, anchor chain gets taut and nose of boat swings round to line up with anchor. And then in bad weather put out loads more chain. Then put snubber rope on – this is a bit of thick rope with a hook on the end that connects to chain and is then tied off and takes the weight between boat and anchor so chain does not grind over roller and rope has a bit of stretch so reduces pull against chain. And finally, set anchor watch on GPS – this is a circle around our position when anchoring and if we move out of it an alarm sounds. OK so it is not as straight forward as parking a car, but if you think anchoring is hard, try come up against an old wooden wharf….

Roast beef, new potatoes, mushrooms and grilled corn for tea. Beef was a overcooked for me but still very good. Rob enjoyed teasing the seagulls with bits of the roast:

We usually head home in three legs. Whangaroa to Whangaruru or Tutukaka then to Kawai and finally a hop, skip & a jump to Auckland. So two long legs of 50-60 miles and a short leg of 25 miles. And I need to be back at work on Monday so need some reasonable weather for two days for the long legs and does not look like we are going to get it! Not worried about last leg – it is short, we know the waters well and while we would not do it in a full gale, would not be as prudent as we would on the longer legs.

We don’t usually have this problem because we normally head home earlier and would normally be at Whangaruru or Tutukaka by now and even in worst weather there are some breaks so we can take a run at next keg. And often there is some good sailing at night when the winds seem to drop. But we only had three and a half weeks and wanted to spend as much time up here as possible. So our options are:

Plan B: I jump ship and go home and either Rob single hands or gets a mate to crew for him (we’ve done this once and I really think this means that Rob single hands but with company because it did not sound like he let his crew mate do anything)

Plan C: We both jump ship, as long as we can leave Zinkwazi safe on a marina berth. Then we come back and collect her as soon as we can. Could do in a couple of legs – here to Tutukaka and leave Zinkwazi there until we can do next leg.

Plan D: We buy the Marlin and take to a life of running a pub in Whangaroa.

Plan E: I beg for a few more days leave. But no guarantee that weather will improve, although the longer it has been awful, the more likely we will get a good spell.

Plan F: We buy the Kingfisher lodge and tale to a life of running a fishing lodge.

Plan G: We buy Whangaroa Houseboats and take to a life of running a bare boat chartering business – of all the buy option this is the only one we likely to be able to afford!

Oh well, these are good plans and one of them will come together.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kay // Jan 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Did you have a look at the house?? Don’t know which ‘plan’ I would opt for, but have a safe trip home!! XX

  • 2 Ross // Jan 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Plan H: Sail to Australia.

  • 3 Maureen // Jan 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Yeah, that is a valid option – have mt passport onboard!