A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How we got on

The forecast for yesterday was for isolated thunderstorms in Nth Wisconsin and, sure enough, around 6pm the sky to the NE started looking ominous. However the wind was blowing SW at the time so I thought it might just miss us. I had started the genset to cook dinner and recharge the batteries when the wind started changing and over a period of about an hour it went through every point of the compass and those clouds started looking even more ominous. At around 7.30 the bay produced another Oneroa type phenomenon - the Oneroa roll, where the sea starts building to a roll that catches you beam on. In Oneroa when this happens, you up anchor and go around into Owhanaki Bay, 20 minutes away. Here there is no Owhanaki Bay, so we fired up and picked up the anchor and moved closer to the marina breakwater and a little more shelter. This was not without incident, as per usual in haste situations, but jammed anchors and not working remotes didn't prevent the change of venue from taking place in a relatively safe manner. Just as we anchored, down it came. Heavy rain with "penny sized" hail (about 10mm) and winds gusting 35-40knts. Fortunately we had got the pick down in time and I was very glad I had opted to renew the ground tackle with equipment I could trust, and even more pleased that it performed as it should.

The storm lasted about an hour, after which it rattled its way Sth with a farewell firworks display, and the sea flattened off to dead calm. The genset had been running all during the proceedings, so the batteries were good and charged by the time we shut it down and went to bed. The dead calm lasted until 2.30am, at which time the wind switched to a brisk NW and the Oneroa roll started all over again. Fortunately the 453 is a wide, heavy boat and is in no way the slightest bit tender. We have found this out over the last few days when we have been constantly buzzed at anchor by jetskis and ski boats that don't know the 5 knot rule, as even fairly large wakes seem to have little effect on our stability, even  when beam on. So while it was not particularly comfortable, there was no sense of need to make a desperate dash for the "safety" of the marina, only 200 metres away. The roll continued until morning and is still there as I write this. However I have also found that in this neck of the woods, if you don't like the weather, just wait half an hour as it will probably change. It is supposed to go NE later today which will make travel Sth a lot more comfortable, should we decide to leave.

I have just fired up the genset again as the batteries had gone low overnight. I think I will have to review the system and get separate start batteries. It is quite un-nerving having to rely on the genset to be able to start the main engines.

Other than the wind, the slop, and other technical issues, it looks like its going to be a nice day

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