AKAROA – SOUTH WESTERLY IN PROGRESS

After arriving in Akaroa on Wednesday morning I had a good sleep and rested on board all day.  The northerly wind blew and it wasn’t conducive to heading ashore in the dinghy.  So it was a lazy day and a quiet evening on board for Ngozi and I.

On Tuesday we picked up anchor first thing in the morning as the southerly wind had started and causing a nasty chop against the bank in Pine Tree Bay.  We dropped anchor again in front of the Akaroa Yacht club in a persistent drizzle and cold wind.

Mid morning we went ashore, it was wet and cool but I expected the weather would brighten up later.  First stop was to the garage to see if the mechanic there could fix the windvane.  Unfortunately, the repair is quite complicated and he declined.  This left the option of sending the parts across to Lyttelton for repair.

Ngozi and I retired to Rona’s Café for lunch and to decide what to do with the windvane parts.  Lunch was excellent.

A few phone calls later it was decided to send the parts by courier to Stark Brothers in Lyttelton.  Starks did some repairs for me last year and were very professional and a did an excellent job so it wasn’t a difficult decision.  Later in the afternoon we found the post shop and after some hurried packaging managed to ship the parts out on the last courier of the day.

The weather was so cold and wet I was shivering and teeth chattering.  What a contrast to yesterday when I was in shorts only and feeling hot.  Akaroa was very quiet, a total contrast to last year when it was buzzing with tourists and two cruise ships in port.  It looks like the businesses here have been hard hit by Covid and the lack of International tourists.

By four in the afternoon I was so cold and wet I had to get back to Truce to dry out and warm up.  First, I had to bail out the dingy that was sloshing about with rainwater, then a cold wind chill ride back to Truce.  Once onboard we changed into dry clothes, in my case thermals and put the Dickinson heater on.  Fifteen minutes later we were toasty warm and snug with the hatch shut.  One benefit of heavy rain, the heavy salt deposits had been washed off Truce.

Dickinson Heater. Photo Ray Penson
Dickinson Heater. Photo Ray Penson

By late evening the strong southerly wind has started blowing and we let out more anchor chain, to 45 meters in the water.  We also fitted the extra long nylon snubber to help absorb the shock loads.

It was a noisy and uncomfortable night as the wind howled and the boat shook and heeled with each gust.  By Friday morning nothing had changed, it was just daylight, the wind continued to howl.  Nothing moved in the harbour, the tourist boats stayed on their moorings.  Not a day to be messing around in boats.

The good news of the morning was the arrival of the windvane parts at the Stark Brothers shipyard in Lyttelton.  A couple of phone calls and exchange of photos and it was established what repairs were required.  It’s a small but tricky time-consuming job and I will get a progress update on Monday.

Due to the strong winds and choppy seas there was no point in trying to get ashore.  Ngozi and I settled back on board and found odd jobs, cooking, watching Americas Cup, reading and surfing the internet to pass time.  Cruising around New Zealand requires an abundance of patience.

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