MISSIONARY BAY WIND BOWL

Last night was a shocker.  Not much sleep possible as very strong 50 knot plus gusts hit us from all sides.  Wind bombs blasted down from the surrounding hills into the anchorage.  A real wind bowl.  Oh, and it rained all night as well.  The rain has done a good job of washing the salt off Truce, now the wind gusts are making spray and putting it back on again.

During the night the water surface took on a surreal electric blue sparkle as wind gusts activated the bioluminescence on the water surface.  I could clearly see wind gusts travelling along the water surface by the bright luminescence being churned up.  I was relieved when daybreak arrived, its far less stressful when you can see what is happening.

After breakfast I put in a call to the Rescue Coordination Centre to discuss my movements during the Coronavirus lockdown.  The person I spoke to was very helpful and pointed out that it was a police matter to enforce or approve movements.  I was then referred to the Wellington Marine Police.  The police clarified that only essential travel was allowed.  Moving to a safe all-weather anchorage was obviously approved on safety grounds.  The normal distancing rules etc applied and I should not go on sightseeing trips.  Going further up the coast to New Plymouth was not considered essential and not approved as it could necessitate rescue personnel coming out of isolation if I needed assistance.

So, it’s quite clear, I must stay in the general area and can move to a safe anchorage until the lockdown is ended.  Not what I really wanted to hear but these are extraordinary times, I am happy to comply fully with the lockdown if it will bring a swift end to the spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

By mid-morning the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.  Electrical power was pouring into the batteries from the solar panels and I was relieved to see the batteries getting back up to full charge.  Tightening the battery terminal has cured the leaking power problem.

Baked fresh bread Photo Ray Penson
Baked fresh bread Photo Ray Penson

All was well in the world and I made bread.

Early afternoon the wind started to decrease and was recording 48 knots offshore.  However, to my dismay the wind has increased this evening and is now recording 55 knots offshore.  Forecast is for a reduction to 40 knots tomorrow morning and then 30 knots tomorrow afternoon.  I look forward to it.  This wind is getting tiresome, I want to move on away from this Cook Strait area further west.

Ominous evening cloud brought wind Photo Ray Penson
Ominous evening cloud brought wind Photo Ray Penson

When the wind decreases, maybe tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning I will start to move up Queen Charlotte Strait and around to Pelorus Sound.  I have identified a couple of anchorages in the lower Pelorus Sound that should be well sheltered and hopefully provide cell phone coverage.  I am looking forward to moving on, away from this wind bowl.

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