Nelson to Motueka 17-18 Jan 2019

posted 19 Jan 2019, 00:46 by Geoff Head   [ updated 2 Feb 2019, 19:28 ]

Crew : Geoff and Tunch. 

While resting in Nelson and after Peter had returned to Wellington, Tunch mentioned he was keen to take a bus trip to Motueka to visit a friend who has a Kebab shop there. Why don't we sail there Geoff suggested! 

We did a route plan on OpenCPN and figured out we could get there in 3 hours at 5 kts. We then checked the weather forecast and the tides and noted that high tide would be at 1913 hrs. We then called Alan Noble of the Motueka Boating Club (027-663 3995) who was very helpful and confirmed we could have an overnight berth at the Motueka Marina. He also gave us some local knowledge about entering the estuary; "Just follow and keep to the left of all the channel markers on the way in. You'll be fine!'  

We cast off from Nelson Marina at 1450 hrs, out through The Cut, rigged up the Mainsail and No. 2 Genoa,  and set Ernesto to steer us across Tasman Bay to the Motueka entrance. The wind gradually decreased as we headed north with our speed dropping from 7 to 5 kts. As we entered the estuary Tunch took over helm while Geoff kept a close eye on the chartplotter and depth sounder as we crept up the river at 3-5 kts. Our SOG suddenly increased to 7 kts as we passed the wharf due to the tide still coming in though the narrow channel. We then spotted Alan and he waved us in to our berth.

OK time for a kebab! Tunch's friend kindly came down to the marina to pick us up and take us in to town and generously shouted us a delicious kebab meal. 

The next morning high tide was at 0808 hrs we set off at 0845 hrs and sailed back to Nelson arriving at 1140 hrs.


D'Urville Island to Nelson - 15 Jan 2019

posted 19 Jan 2019, 00:44 by Geoff Head   [ updated 2 Feb 2019, 19:28 ]

Crew: Geoff, Peter, Tunch. 

On our last night on the mooring in Catherine Cove the southerly started blowing in bay and we rocked and rolled all night. The forecast was for the wind to change to a northerly and then die out in Nelson so we departed early at 6 am, skipping breakfast, and started motoring our way into the headwind across Admiralty Bay. The wind and waves were pretty big but with Tunch doing a great job on helm we eventually arrived at the French Pass wharf at 7.30 am and had a well deserved breakfast. 

According to the LINZ tide chart the French Pass tide would begin flowing SE at 8.05 am. Geoff wanted to be sure however and went up to the lookout to check out the current. At 7.45 am it was still flowing NW but by 8.20 am it had turned to slack water.  Quickly back to the boat and we cast off from the wharf at 0834 hrs and by 0903 hrs we were passing through the channel between the light and the rocks in beautiful slack water with not a whirlpool in sight. Easy peasy!

We then sailed a fairly direct course all the way down the coast of Tasman Bay. Firstly tight-hauled with a southerly and then when the wind eventually changed to a northerly we 'goose-winged' the genoa and later hoisted the spinnaker as we passed Croiselles Harbour, Cape Soucis and Pepin Island - named by the French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville after his wife, Adèle Pépin. The island is currently on sale for $16m.

Eventually arrived at the Boulder Bank and turned into the entrance to Nelson port known as The Cut, made in 1906 when the early settlers wanted to open up the enclosed harbour to shipping.

Arrived at our berth in the Nelson Marina at 1537 hrs.


Wgtn to to D'Urville Island via Cape Koamaru - 12 Jan 2019

posted 10 Jan 2019, 19:26 by Geoff Head   [ updated 2 Feb 2019, 19:35 ]

Crew:  Geoff, Peter, Tunch. 

Metservice Forecast WELLINGTON: Rising to southerly 20 knots early morning, easing to southeast 10 knots in the afternoon. Turning northerly 15 knots in the evening. Sea becoming moderate early morning, easing in the afternoon. A few early showers, then becoming fine.  
Metservice Forecast COOK : Southeast easing to 15 knots Saturday morning. Turning northerly 15 knots late Saturday evening. Rough sea at times. Southerly swell 1 metre, developing. COOK STRAIT SAILING INSTRUCTIONS: Leave Wellington to arrive at Sinclair Head 1 hour before HW Wellington. You will then have a favourable tidal stream across Cook Strait.

The plan was:
0710 hrs Leave Chaffers 
0930 hrs Arrive Sinclair Head (2.5 hrs at 5 kts) 
1430 hrs Arrive Cape Koamaru 
1600 hrs Arrive Ship Cove

Forecast was generally good. A dying southerly with 1mt southerly swell however the Cape Terawhiti Boating forecast gave it a rating of only 2 presumably due to disturbed sea state following the recent high winds. OK so it'll be rough but with all the other factors in our favour - tide, wind and swell all going in the same direction - it should be safe.

We started on schedule at 7 am. Did a trip report with Maritime Radio and rigged up the No. 2 Genoa and main. A beautiful and calm morning in Wellington harbour.  

As we motor-sailed out through Wellington Heads we could feel the 1.5 mt southerly swell on our nose. We passed through Chaffers Passage and then crossed Palmer Head at 0820 hrs we turned off the engine (bliss) and sailed west at about 6 kts.  Wind increased to 20 kts so we took the precaution of putting a reef in the mainsail before we arrived at Karori Rip. As we neared Sinclair Head our speed over ground (SOG) started increasing to 7 and then 8 kts as caught the tidal stream.  Passed Sinclair Head at 0830 hrs one hour ahead of schedule, and our SOG increased to 9 and up to 10 kts. As expected the sea was pretty rough and we put on our tethers for safety.  Passed Cape Tarawhiti at 1000 hrs leaving the Karori Rip. The southerly swell and tide continued pushing us along at 9 kts.

We then rigged up the spinnaker pole to set the Genoa "goose-winged" and connected up "Ernesto", our AutoTiller, which steered Halo to the next waypoint across the Cook Strait. Look Mum, no hands!

We crossed north of Awash Rock at 1130 hrs and then west of The Brothers keeping a close eye on the chartplotter as this was unfamiliar territory for us.  Passed Cape Koamaru at 1200 hrs - 2.5 hours ahead of schedule!

After doing some route planning on the OpenCPN we made the decision not to go to Ship Cove. We calculated we could get to D'Urville Island easily before sundown. Geoff called the Catherine Cove Lodge to confirm we could use one of their moorings. No problems!

The next challenge was passing Cape Jackson. We crossed the top of Queen Charlotte Sound on a beam reach in 15 kts southerly averaging 7 kts SOG.  Passed though the gap between the headland and the Cape Jackson light (where the Mikhail Lermatov came a cropper) at 1250 hrs with following tide keeping our speed up at 8 kts. 

We then lost our tidal push and continued on at a more normal speed of 6.5 kts  past Cape Lambert, Alligator Head, north of Titi Island, crossing the top of Pelorus Sound. We passed Clay Point at 1550 hours. 

By this time the wind had eased off considerably and Tunch put the fishing line out and eventually snagged a nice big Kawahai!

We eventually arrived at Catherine Cove and were tied up at the mooring by 1700 hours.  Closed the TR with Maritime Radio. Total trip time Wellington to D'Urville Island - 10 hours. Tired but happy with our achievement.  Time for a swim followed by dinner of the great lamb curry that Graciela had pre-prepared for us!

DAY 2 

As a break from sailing we did the hike up the Old School track to the ridgeline and looped back down to Catherine Cove via the 4WD track. 5 hours. Back in time for another swim followed by kawahai for dinner expertly filleted and cooked by Tunch.


DAY 3 

Decided to go for a day trip across Admiralty Bay over to the French Pass settlement to check it out and have a look at the French Pass tidal flows in preparation for tomorrow's sailing. 

We tied up at the wharf and had a look around the place. Thought we'd go to the shop for an ice cream but were disappointed to discover that the shop had closed down in April last year. The sign said the owner had been running it for 40 years and now that he'd turned 75 he'd had enough. The place is for sale or lease to anybody interested. Also noted that the NPD fuel depot does not accept credit cards. You need a NPD card.

We walked up the hill to the lookout and observed the French Pass tidal flows and great views across Admiralty Bay. We read on the plaque that 'In 1827 the corvette Astrolabe commanded by Dumont D'Urville discovered and after great danger sailed through French Pass'.

On our return to Catherine Cove we went to the mussel farm as Tunch was keen to catch some mussels to have with our fish tonight. Unfortunately they were all too small. Also did some fishing for Blue Cod. We dropped the anchor just off the point. No wind and Peter and Geoff relaxed while Tunch caught four cod. All under the 33cm limit unfortunately and they had to be thrown back in. Also caught a small shark which was trying to eat the cod on the hook and got the line twisted round its neck. We were able to set him free eventually. 

Had a bit of excitement when the wind came up unexpectedly and Halo quickly started drifting dangerously close to the rocks! Had to move quickly to start the engine and bring up the anchor.

Back to the mooring and dinner and enjoyed the amazing sunset over French Pass.


Mākaro/Ward Island with Jenny and Jono and family - 4 Jan 2019

posted 5 Jan 2019, 21:37 by Geoff Head   [ updated 6 Jan 2019, 12:30 ]

Crew: Geoff, Jono, Jenny, Isabelle, Max

Marine Forecast: Variable 5 knots. Southerly 10 knots developing for a time this afternoon and evening. Northerly 10 knots developing overnight. Sea slight. Fine.

Our first sailing in 2019! 

With a perfect day for sailing forecast we left Chaffers Marina at 1422 hrs and hoisted the Main and No. 3 Jib. The wind was a nice southerly breeze so we were able to turn off the engine and quietly sailed out towards Ward Island. Connected up the Autohelm to give Jenny and Jono free hands for child minding. Isabelle and Max were pretty relaxed about the sailing even when we heeled over a bit.

The Straitsman ferry started coming out behind us but by checking the AIS track we could see that we would be past the shipping lane by the time she caught up with us. Wind was up to 15 knots as we crossed the harbour entrance and neared Mākaro/Ward Island. There was one other yacht on the club mooring but the skipper, Anthony, kindly agreed for us to raft up.

Jono pumped up the dinghy and we did two trips to deliver us all to the island. Had a great explore around the east side. Isabelle and Max loved playing on the beach and exploring the rock cave.

Back to Halo and cast off from the mooring at 1706 hrs and sailed back across the harbour tying up at the berth at 1800 hrs.

This was Halo's first outing with the new Vesper AIS Transponder and good to see our track was recorded by See screen capture video below.


Harbour Sailing - 27 Dec 2018

posted 28 Dec 2018, 00:31 by Geoff Head   [ updated 30 Dec 2018, 00:24 ]

Crew:  Geoff, Kerry, Sam, Josh, Nick and Lucas

Forecast: Variable 5 knots, cloud clearing in the morning.

We set off from Chaffers Marina at 1000 hrs with Mainsail and No. 3 Jib hoisted and set course for Mākaro-Ward Island. Wind was a stronger than forecasted getting up to 15 kts southerly once we passed Pt Halswell. The interislander ferry Kaiaraki was heading out towards us so to be on the safe side we did a couple of tacks to keep out of its path.

Put the fishing line out trolling with the lure hoping to catch a kahawai but no luck.

Arrived at Mākaro-Ward Island at 1219 hrs and picked up the club mooring. We inflated the dinghy and we all went ashore to explore the island. Lucas had fun climbing up the cliff faces and observing the gulls and oystercatchers. "They are very territorial" he said.

Then back to the boat for lunch before casting off at 1400 hrs and heading back to Wellington. Arrived back in the berth at Chaffers at 1455 hrs. 


Ward Island with Grant

posted 5 Oct 2018, 17:22 by Geoff Head   [ updated 8 Oct 2018, 20:11 ]

Crew:  Geoff and Grant

Marine Forecast: Friday : Northwest 20 knots gusting 30 knots, easing to 15 knots this morning, then turning southerly 10 knots early afternoon. Rising to southeast 15 knots about the south coast this evening. Moderate sea, easing this morning. Partly cloudy,fair visibility in a few showers from evening.

Departed Chaffers Marina at 1030 hrs and hoisted Main and No. 3 Genoa. With about with 10 kts southerly we progressed East towards Ward Island with speed picking up to 6 kts once we cleared Point Halswell. Arrived at Ward Island and picked up the mooring at 1133 hrs.  After morning tea and bird watching we sailed off the mooring at 1217 and sailed at a close reach towards Lambton Harbour. Put out the fishing line (with no expectations) but to my surprise we caught a nice big Kahawai. Arrived back at 1315 hrs. Grant showed me how to fillet the fish. See video below.


Wellington Harbour with Bruce and James - 12 Sept 2018

posted 13 Sep 2018, 15:02 by Geoff Head   [ updated 13 Sep 2018, 15:08 ]

Crew: Geoff, Bruce, James 

Forecast: Wednesday : Northerly 15 knots but 20 knots about the south coast developing by late morning, rising to 25 knots gusting 35 knots but 30 knots gusting 40 knots in the south this afternoon. Sea becoming rough this afternoon. Cloud developing this morning, becoming fine this afternoon.

We met on Halo at 1000 hrs and after the safety briefing we cast off from Chaffers Marina at 1024 hrs. Due to a mixed bag of predicted winds we decided to go conservative and hoisted the No. 3 Jib with full main and headed East past Point Halswell in a brisk (15 kts) NNE wind we averaged 6.5 kts close hauled across the harbour with Bruce on helm. We avoided the Straitsman ferry by about 6 minutes as it crossed our path coming into the harbour. We arrived at the club mooring south of Matiu/Somes island at 1145 hrs.

After lunch and a hot drink we released the mooring at 1237 hrs and set sail with James on helm on a beam reach back to Chaffers. Cruised along at a good speed up to 7kts at times in winds averaging 18-20 kts.  Arrived at 1326 hrs back into the dock.


Chaffers to Seaview - 22 June 2018

posted 24 Jun 2018, 22:30 by Geoff Head   [ updated 24 Jun 2018, 22:37 ]

Crew - Geoff & Murray

Forecast - Variable winds 5 kts, clear skies.

Popped over to Seaview Marina to use up the $50 Fuel Voucher we won on the 24-Hour Race - before it expires.

Rigged up the No,1 LT Genoa and Main and departed Chaffers at 1146 hrs. Due to the lack of wind we motored across the harbour at 6 kts testing out the GPS Repeater to follow the OpenCPN course to Seaview. Got to the fuel jetty at 1253 hrs and met Tony who sorted out our voucher for us and we filled up the diesel tank.  We left Halo at the jetty and visited Burnsco and had lunch at the waterside Compass Cafe.

Cast off from the jetty at 1342 hrs and motored back to Chaffers (still no wind to fill the sails) using the Autopilot to arrive at Chaffers at 1445 hrs. 


Wgtn Harbour with Bob and Nicky - 9 May 2018

posted 8 May 2018, 22:30 by Geoff Head   [ updated 9 May 2018, 23:13 ]

Crew: Geoff, Bob, Nicky and Shorty (the dog).

Forecasts: Northerly 15 knots, easing to variable 5 knots this afternoon. Northeast 10 knots developing this evening. Sea slight. Fine weather.

After the safety briefing we cast off from Chaffers Marina at 1006 hrs. After giving Bob some practise on helm motoring around we hoisted the Mainsail and No. 3 Jib and tacked our way across the harbour towards Somes Island. Good 16 kts northerly breeze with stronger gusts coming thru at times. Boat speed 6 to 6.5 kts SOG. 

Arrived at south end of Somes Island at 1140 and picked up the mooring and had lunch.  Shorty was getting anxious to go to the toilet on land so we sailed across to Seaview Marina and tied up up at the visitors dock at 1326 and had a nice coffee and let Shorty run around and do his business.

Departed Seaview at 1416 and had a fast sail back to Wellington with tail wind and Bob doing a great job on helm. Speed up to 7.2 kts at times!

Arrived back at Chaffers at 1526 hrs. 

Picton to Wellington - 15 April 2018

posted 12 Apr 2018, 02:13 by Geoff Head   [ updated 18 Apr 2018, 10:22 ]

Crew: Geoff & Grant
Cook Coastal Forecast: Southeast 15 knots, turning Sunday morning northeast 10 knots, then rising late Sunday northerly 25 knots.
Travelling Eastbound: Leave Tory Channel 2 hours after the tidal stream commences setting E. You will have a favourable tidal stream across Cook Strait and through the Cape Terawhiti-Sinclair Head area.
Preferred weather: Northerly wind.

The Plan:

Friday 13 Apr Geoff takes 9 am ferry to Picton.

Saturday 14 Apr: Crew join Geoff in Picton. Sail to Ngaruru Bay in Tory Channel for overnight stay on club mooring.

Sunday 15 Apr 2018 Tory Channel tidal stream begins setting East 0841 hrs. 

Depart Ngaruru Bay 0930 hrs
Tory Entrance 1030
Thoms Rock 1408
Sinclair Head 1439
Chaffers Passage 1552
Point Halswell 1638
Lambton Harbour 1700


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