AKAROA – SAILING AROUND

Last night I moved to Pine Tree Bay, just on the North end of French bay.  The wind was blowing from the NE this anchorage proved to be just perfect.  This morning I was woken by natures alarm clock again, the little birds had returned in droves, or maybe it’s a flock.  Judging by the little deposits left behind, I reckon they had been eating some sort of purple fruit.

Early Morning Alarm Clock Photo Ray Penson
Early Morning Alarm Clock Photo Ray Penson

A lovely flat calm morning and I took the dinghy ashore to Akaroa.  The outboard seems to be running better now, I don’t know why.

I found a nice café, had coffee and free wifi, downloaded more weather files.  The weather systems are so active it’s difficult to figure out exactly what’s going on.  Even more so when the different weather models contradict each other.  What is certain, there is a gale warning in place, I can expect a strong S’ly this afternoon and tonight.

The coffee was very good, I had a second cup.  Reading the news, it’s all about Covid-19.  We shouldn’t worry, America will develop a vaccine (at great cost and profit) and we will all be safe again.

As I was sitting enjoying the sunshine I noticed the trees swaying in the wind.  Oops, the S’ly blow was arriving early.  I decided I had better head back on board.  Short little waves had built up in the harbour, the dinghy ride back to Truce was a damp affair.  Once back on board I decided to have a look around Akaroa Harbour and find a suitable anchorage for the S’ly gale.

In a building S’ly breeze I sailed across to Cape Three Points to check out the anchorage there.  The wind was curling around the point and the bottom looked rocky.  Next, Tikao Bay, looked good but quite a few moorings in the best spots, I moved on.  French Farm Bay looked too exposed to the south, although supposed to be good for a SW blow.  Finally, I sailed across to Takamatua Bay, the shelter was immediately obvious, I furled the Yankee, rounded up and dropped the anchor to the bottom, I heaved it up and was pleased to see grey mud on it.  I like thick grey mud when it’s going to blow.  I let the anchor go again and brought up in four meters of water.

By the time I got around to stowing the dinghy on deck the wind had picked up quite a bit.  Getting the outboard stowed was quite easy but getting the inflatable stowed was more of a challenge.  The inflatable is a small RIB and light weight, with every wind gust it threatened to take off.  Eventually, with a bit of cursing, I got it securely lashed down.  Oh, the joys of single-handed sailing.

This evening we have plenty of wind, some rain and lots of noise from the anchor chain and snubber.  Too noisy to sleep in the forward cabin tonight, I will sleep on the salon settee.  The barometer is rising fast and still has a long way to go.

 

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