Gentle rain, dark, calm and cold when I stuck my head outside the hatch this morning.  I quickly ducked back inside to put the kettle on and listened to the morning weather forecast.  The S’ly storm was coming, now was the perfect time to head around, through Tory Channel and into the inner sounds.

At the start of morning twilight we were motoring out of Oyster Bay and clear of Port Underwood before the sun rose.  The north going current sped us along the coast to arrive outside Tory Channel entrance before ten.  I slowed down to allow the Cook Strait ferry, Straitsman, unhindered passage out of the channel before heading in.  Once in Tory Channel it started to rain, within a few minutes it was hosing down, visibility down to about a quarter of a mile.

By Lunchtime Truce was moored in Missionary Bay off the Tory Channel.  The anchorage is supposed to be protected from S’ly winds and I hope to ride out the storm here.  I spent the afternoon making sure everything was well lashed down and secure and messing around with odd jobs.

The rain continued all afternoon, almost tropical in its intensity.  The first strong gusts of wind arrived around afternoon smoko.  By eight in the evening the wind was gusting fifty knots.

The autopilot, it’s a Raymarine ST2000+ tillerpilot, was put into action after its inspection yesterday.  It worked!  I have no idea why it’s working but I suspect it’s something to do with the compass.  The only thing I did was take out the compass connector strip, clean it and put it back.  I do wish they would make these things more heavy duty.

For a few days now I have suspected that we are losing electrical power somewhere.  I have been searching for something running or switched on that’s draining power, I couldn’t find anything.  The solar panels don’t seem to be bringing the battery up to power like they used to, it’s only a small loss, it has been puzzling me, just doesn’t seem right.  This afternoon I have found the cause (I hope).  One of the battery connections was slightly lose, I have tightened it up and hope all will be well again.  When we get some sun I will find out.  Why the connection had slackened off I don’t know, these little mysteries often happen on boats.

The New Zealand Lockdown for coronavirus is in full force now.  I still see Interisland Ferries running, taking the last of the stranded passengers back to their respective Islands.  I suppose the ferries will continue to run during the lockdown, transporting freight and essential goods.

With the weather as it is, I expect to be anchored here for the next two nights.  The forecast is winds of at least forty knots into tomorrow night.  Then I need to move on and find an all-weather anchorage somewhere.  My isolation and social distancing is complete.

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