CAPE KIDNAPPERS AND GANNET TERRITORY

The morning was quiet and still as we let go from the Visitors Barth at the Napier Yacht Club at sunrise.  Motoring out of the channel we were accompanied by numerous day fishing boats, going out for their weekend catch.  A light westerly breeze set in and we were able to sail easily with just the Yankee out towards Cape Kidnappers.

Early morning departure from Napier. Photo Ray Penson
Early morning departure from Napier. Photo Ray Penson

On the way across Hawke Bay towards Cape Kidnappers I hoisted the main and put three reefs in before dropping it again.  Its so much easier to start with reefs in and take them out as needed rather than struggle to get reefs in when its blowing.

Today is a slow speed sail as the wind down the coast at Castlepoint is blowing 60 knots.  We don’t want to arrive there until the wind has eased significantly.  Sailing at two and a half knots is perfect for the first 24 hours.

At mid-day we rounded Cape Kidnappers and sailed slowly south in a dying breeze.  The Gannets were out in force, hundreds of them plummeting into the sea into large balls of baitfish.  Dolphins were everywhere, herding fish and gorging themselves.  Occasionally breaking off to visit Truce and play under the bow, then quickly losing interest as the slow speed didn’t provide much of a thrill.

Cape Kidnappers. Photo Ray Penson
Cape Kidnappers. Photo Ray Penson

By mid afternoon the breeze had died out completely apart from a few puffs that amounted to nothing – just teasing us.  I looked on the chart and though I might be able to anchor behind Bare Island (Motuokura), worth a look anyway as I didn’t fancy being awake all night going nowhere.

In the lee of Bare Island there were numerous cray pots and the bottom was obviously rocky.  But, I found a spot between the pots in ten meters of water that looked good and was protected from the swell.  I put a line and buoy on anchor and put thirty meters of chain in the water, a tempory anchorage arrangement and one I hoped would not get caught around too many rocks.  If the anchor did get caught I hoped to pull it out backwards with the buoy line.

Once anchored I put a soft bait over the side and was rewarded by a couple chubby of Blue Cod.  That’s breakfast tomorrow sorted.

Hopefully tomorrow the gale warning will have lifted and we can continue south with the promised North Westerly wind.  Its pretty slow going so far.

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