I shifted from the uninspiring Maori Bay on Saturday morning and moved into Kenepuru Sound, there I found a good anchorage in Long bay.  This anchorage has good shelter but is open to the south.  However, if there is a strong blow from the south, I can get good shelter just around the corner in St. Omer Bay.

Kenepuru Sound is different to the outer sounds, it has a softer feel to it, the hills are not so tall, the hillsides have grass areas and cattle grazing.  It also seems more sheltered, that is only a feeling and not proven yet.

Coronavirus lock down is in full force now, it’s an offence to go boating, swimming, surfing, tramping, hunting and all the outdoor pursuit type activities where rescue services could be needed.  I will be hanging around this area for the next couple of weeks at least before I am able to move on.  It could be worse.

Long Bay Anchorage on a calm morning. Photo Ray Penson
Long Bay Anchorage on a calm morning. Photo Ray Penson

The autopilot, I thought my last attempt at repair had gone well and produced miracle results.  Not so, its gone back to its old ways and let me down again.  I am pretty sure it’s a compass problem – or more exactly a problem getting the signal from the compass to the course computer thingy.  When it’s on standby the compass course follows well, the display shows the correct course according to ships compass.  However, when auto is engaged the autopilot doesn’t follow the course and drifts off slowly either to port or starboard, but mainly to starboard, it just gives up steering.  When the standby button is pressed the compass course on the autopilot display corrects itself.

Sunday, the autopilot was on the operating table once again.  This time I took the compass out and checked it over, cleaned it and stuck it back in.  I cleaned the contacts once again and made sure there was nothing in the case to jam anything up.  After careful reassembling everything, I tested it – still the same, no improvement.  Nothing else I can do now apart from taking it to the dealer when I get back to Auckland.  In the meantime, I am going to have a bit of practice hand steering.

Raymarine ST2000+ Tiller Pilot on the operating table. Photo Ray Penson
Raymarine ST2000+ Tiller Pilot on the operating table. Photo Ray Penson

This evening I made a wonderful discovery.  Right at the back of the bond locker I found a bottle of Taylors fine ruby port.  Excellent stuff and I had a couple of glasses before turning in for the night.

Tomorrow is another lock down day.  No plans to move anywhere, just stay where I am and try to keep busy and my mind occupied.

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