the way down from Rangitikei [where we ended up after running from the
weather] to south end of Kapiti, then a brief motor sail across to
Pukerua Bay before looking for the elusive moorings off Mana Island. All
untenable in southerly weather so headed into Porirua harbour where we
spent a peaceful night on the hook after the wind dropped. Getting set
for the grand arrival in Mana Marina around noon today.
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. An interesting night... Coastal forecast noted that conditions S of Otaki were considerably worse than North. We made landfall just at Otaki and can confirm that the sea got easier close inshore and North; wind still gusting 30 kn though. Tried everything [including drogue: useless at slow speed but a bugger to haul back in] and finally ran downwind up the coast under a scrap of stay sail, still doing 5+ knots; better than hove to, doing 2.9knots broadside on to the waves!! Turned around at Rangitikei and motored back. Now motoring dead into wind and sea toward Mana; about 10miles north of Kapiti. Decided to come outside of Kapiti to avoid tidal current inshore, but may have been quicker to go inshore as sea flatter. On top of that, Otto packed a sad twice during the night. Marg heroically hand steered for nearly 3 hours down wind with big erratic following seas. Interestingly the auto pilot failed both times [going north then going south] just off Manawatu entrance; trying to draw Marg home perhaps?
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. Forecast for Stephens improved: still gale warning but saying 35 knots. Making best course as wind veers, will tack further inshore when it starts to build. NE'ly did not hold long enough to make it inshore off Wanganui as hoped. Kupe gas platform hailed us at 03:45 to tell us we were in "exclusion zone" of 5km; AS WE WERE SAILING AWAY from CPA of 1200m! Actually a reporting zone; exclusion is 500m per charts, but they require reporting if approaching within 5000m. Live and learn... Discovered Marg's download of Mana tides quotes "GFT" time zone: now what is that?? Certainly doesn't match any other tide times in the vicinity,
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. Approaching Taranaki: mountain shrouded in cloud as usual... Sun came out about an hour ago after wind dropped from 23-26 knots down to 15-18 knots within an hour. Forecast for tomorrow pretty bad though: 40 knots SE in afternoon, =E2=80=98easing=E2=80=99 to 30 knots in evening. Think we=E2=80=99ll end up heaving to to wait it out, somewhere inshore. Planning to sweep inshore toward Wanganui and then round. But we have cellphone internet here!
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. Past Waikato estuary (at night). Sailing on =E2=80=98Track=E2=80=99 mode since gybed at 14:00 yesterday. Broad-beam reach under songle-reefed main and staysail. Wind direction and timing exactly as GRIBS but about 5 knots higher since midnight. Motion relatively easy for once with sails loaded and gentle heel. Otto steering magnificently, and Duogen making enough to run the inverter. Just started raining... Might see Cape Egmont at dusk: hope cloud cover doesn=E2=80=99t hide the mountain all day.
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. Past Waikato estuary (at night). Sailing on "Track" mode since gybed at 14:00 yesterday. Broad-beam reach under songle-reefed main and staysail. Wind direction and timing exactly as GRIBS but about 5 knots higher since midnight. Motion relatively easy for once with sails loaded and gentle heel. Otto steering magnificently, and Duogen making enough to run the inverter. Just started raining... Might see Cape Egmont at dusk: hope cloud cover doesn't hide the mountain all day.
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. Past 90 Mile Beach (at night). Cape Reinga & Cape Marie Van Diemen very impressive. 165deg wind angle main only until 20+ kn squall at 02:30 had us dropping main and continuing under yankee only: very rolly so sail plan not very stable, uncomfortable below. Wind veering as forecast so will have to gybe soon, just after we hoisted single-reefed main again. Ho hum... We always seem to be either beating or dead downwind. neither very conducive to comfort and relaxation. Enjoying the trip with Carol: very competent and confident, and great company. Marg doing toast & eggs for breakfast.
On passage, Opua to Mana marina, Plimmerton. Just rounded North Cape. Wind just filled in after 6 hours motoring: neat to see it coming in from the North, waiting to see what it would be... Great time with a biggish pod of dolphins; got the video this time.
Preparing for the passage from Opua to Mana Marina, Plimmerton... So far the weather's looking OK for a non-stop passage, assuming the low blows itself out before it gets here.. Otherwise it's round to Whangaroa to wait for a better weather window.
Arrived on customs dock at 4pm. Processed very quickly and efficiently - not the scary experience many talk of.
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Smooth easy downwind conditions, close to NZ reporting point. Nearly there!
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Wind moderating, staying SSW, occasionally SW. Sea state improving but still lumpy. Close-hauled making best speed upwind, double-reefed main, staysail & yankee. Waiting for wind to veer further to lay Bay of Islands waypoint.
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Passed the front at ~02:30: double reefed main only; 35 knots wind, torrential rain, lightning, for about 1 hour. Wind shift N-NW in 2 minutes, then NW-SW in 5! Now sailing double-reefed main and staysail, 60-70deg fetch
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Motor-sailing to charge battery. Wind 6-10knots N-NNW, 3-4knots when under sail, main only
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Motor-sailing in light air.
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Sailing CH port tack 24hrs, waiting for wind to back to make Southing. Wind 8-18knts, typicallly 12-14knts, S-SSE
On passage, N Minerva Reef to Opua. Sailing in wind vane mode on broad reach; waiting for daylight to switch to downwind setup
At anchor, N Minerva Reef: beer o=E2=80=99clock already & fresh mahi mahi for dinner!
On passage, Tongatapu =E2=80=93 N Minerva, motor siling in light airs for daylight arrival, dead downwind, ETA 01:00UT 03/11/2016
On passage, Tongatapu =E2=80=93 N Minerva, ETA 22:30 UT 02/11/2016
at anchor, Big Mama Yacht Club
Waiting on weather...
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