MANGONUI TO HICKS BAY, A MIXED BAG

After a slow but steady start from Mangonui on the afternoon of the 25th the wind died and I had to resort to motor, passing Cape Brett around midnight in calm seas.  All the next day the wind teased me, alternating between scampering along under full sail to being becalmed and slatting sails.  The motor was on and off all day, running seven hours in total.

After looking at the forecast I decided to sail directly to Hicks Bay and not call in at Great Barrier as previously planned.  It was slow going, wind then no wind, I determined not to use the motor unless absolutely necessary this second day out.  I managed a full day without the motor, but only sailed eighty eight miles for my troubles.

We arrived at Hicks Bay early morning of the 28th with 25 knots of wind from astern.  Finally dropping anchor off the disused jetty at seven in 8m of water.  All day the wind howled, it was too windy to put the dinghy down for a run ashore.  I sat in isolation swinging around the anchor, the one compensation being a telephone signal and internet access.  In early evening I increased the anchor scope for peace of mind and had a fitful sleep.

Mangonui, Northland Photo Ray Penson
Mangonui, Northland Photo Ray Penson

A major let down on the trip down from Mangonui was the failure of the Raymarine Tiller pilot on the first day.  For some reason the compass in the unit is wandering off course.  This is the Raymarine ST2000+ model which is supposed to be up to the job of steering Truce.  I have opened the unit up and can’t see anything obviously amiss, the compass looks ok and the electrical connections look OK.    It’s all very disappointing, I only have the ancient Autohelm tiller pilot as backup.  Single handing without a reliable autopilot is not much fun.

The forecast for tomorrow looks fairly benign for rounding East Cape and the tides look good for a late morning start.

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