ROUNDING CAPE KIDNAPPERS

My logbook records that at 01:00 we had 35 knot gusts from the NW.  With hindsight the wind may have been closer to 30 knots, but in the dark with the short breaking seas it felt like 35 knots and was not comfortable.  I spent the rest of the night and early morning dodging to the north into Hawke Bay in strong winds awaiting daylight.

At 09:00 I turned to the south with the wind still gusting to 30 knots, with triple reefed main and small handkerchief yankee we made good time, spray flying everywhere.  By noon wind and sea has eased considerably, we had full sail, heading to Cape Kidnappers at 5.5 knots.  The wind then came around to the SE and I had to take a big tack out east before coming back to clear Cape Kidnappers which we rounded at 18:30.

It felt good to be out of Hawke Bay and its windy grip, finally to be heading south towards Cook Strait.  We had to tack down the coast as the wind seemed to bend along the shoreline, it didn’t matter we were making progress again – or so I thought.  At 21:00 the wind died.  No wind and flat calm, sails slatting back and forth.  Frustration, this just wasn’t forecast.

I will wait until midnight and if there is still no wind Mr Yanmar will be called upon to get us going under motor again.  I don’t want to lose too much time on this leg down to Cook Strait as there is a weather window after which gale force winds are predicted to set in again.  I would like to get somewhere sheltered before that happens.

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