WAITING ON WEATHER AT CHALKY INLET

For five days we have been in Chalky inlet waiting on weather.  Our next destination is Dusky Sound and that requires a just a short hop to the north, offshore around West Cape.  The recent winds have been strong N’ly and not favourable for us.  While waiting for the weather to turn favourable we have been moored in North Port, a protected all-weather anchorage if a stern line is used.

Today and the two days previous there have been storm warnings in force for the Puysegur area where we are currently.  The good news is that this afternoon the storm warning has been downgraded to a gale warning and later today the wind is swinging around to the SW with thirty knots and then reducing to a comfortable fifteen knots tomorrow morning.  The weather at this corner of New Zealand is very dynamic but we should be on our way again soon.

This morning the day started off with torrential rain.  We changed our mooring from the west to the east side of the small island where we are using a sternline.  This will give us protection from the SW winds we expect to arrive soon.  Working a sternline in the dinghy was refreshing, we both got a good soaking and were shivering cold by the end of it.  A good strong cup of tea and some dry clothes and we were fit to go again.  The good news is that we topped off all our fresh water tanks with nice fresh rainwater.

North Port has produced some nice fat Blue Cod.  We have eaten well on fish and Blue Cod is a lovely fish to eat.  But, nice as it is we are now craving some snapper of other firmer fleshed fish for variety.

The first day here the windvane making a creaking noise as it turned in the wind.  I assumed it needed some lubrication and fed it some oil.  The creaking persisted, not as much as before, but as its usually silent I decided to investigate further.  Further examination turned up a loose screw holding the frame to the pushpit.  A drop of locktite and tightening of the screw eliminated the noise and all is peaceful again.  Thank goodness I found it in time, it would be grim losing the self steering in windy conditions.

Another first occurred today, I managed to block up the Lavac Toilet.  This has never happened before despite various people feeding it with all sorts of objects over time.  I had just come to expect it to pump anything.  Anyway, I was cleaning around the toilet compartment where we hang our wet clothes with some kitchen towel and just tossed it into the toilet without thinking.  When I came to flush it out the pump just refused to budge.  The application of applied force wouldn’t move it.  I spun off the front plate of the pump, removed a large hard ball of kitchen towel and replaced the plate.  Tried pumping again and hey presto all good, working a treat.  I just can’t think of any other toilet that is as reliable or so easy to use and maintain.

Time here has been taken up with reading, playing solitaire, cooking, making bread, odd jobs, eating, wine tasting, sleeping and relaxing.  There is always something to do on a boat, just need to keep busy to while away the time.

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