GEORGE SOUND

After the brief appearance of the sun yesterday I was hopeful for the same today.  However, its back to the same old.  After a good nights sleep I awoke to an overcast sky and low cloud, cold with rain and drizzle.  The day didn’t improve, it blew hard and rained hard from midday and a nasty sea came into the anchorage, pitching us around.  Not having the option of being able to motor out and with insufficient room to sail out from the anchorage I let out more chain and hung on.

I spent time organising the spare anchor and warp in the afternoon.  I put the spare anchor on deck at the start of this cruise but left the ground chain and warp in the locker.  If the motor is working it’s not so critical if the spare anchor is to be deployed, the engine can be used to keep out of trouble whilst the spare anchor is rigged.  However, with no engine the spare needs to be rigged and ready to go instantly.  Now, I can just cut a few lashings and heave it anchor over the side its ready to go.  The paintwork might suffer a bit but if I need the second anchor I won’t be concerned about paintwork.  As a backup to the backup I have a Bruce anchor with chain and warp in the locker, just for the unlikely event I might need it.

Spare anchor ready to go. Photo Ray Penson
Spare anchor ready to go. Photo Ray Penson

In George Sound I can now pick up the Metservice weather forecast on VHF71.  This is a big help, the afternoon update issued a gale warning, someone must have looked out the window.  The wind and lumpy sea continued all day and night.  I catnapped on the settee in the salon all night, my usual spot when at anchor in windy weather.

Wednesday and the wind has moderated but rain all morning.  The afternoon brought some late and welcome sunshine.  Managed to harvest seven amps into the batteries, the fridge is still off.  The sunshine brought out the fisherman in me and I caught the biggest Blue Cod so far, big fat and beautiful colouring.  I read that it can take up to twenty years to grow to this size.  He went back, I didn’t want to eat such a beautiful specimen.

After I sent the Blue Cod back home I had a really nice surprise.  Three guys in a fizz boat came along and gave me a couple of crays.  I do like crays.  Dinner was sorted and the Blue Cod were safe for another day.  I ate both crays at one sitting, washed down with some nice Sauvignon Blanc.  Happy.  Life is good.

The forecast says the weather outside the sound is SW thirty knots with rough seas and its set to continue tomorrow as well.  I don’t fancy the rough seas bit although the wind is in the right direction, I will wait another day for it to moderate.

The night was more peaceful than the previous night. Although the wind blew quite strongly from the south.  The night sky was clear, no clouds.  The stars brilliant as there was no moon.  I sat in the cockpit for a while under the stars and wondered about the universe.  It was cold so I scuttled back inside and lit the oil lamps for warmth.

Thursday morning and its clear and calm early.  A beautiful morning.  The sun is striking the hills on the other side of the anchorage but doesn’t hit us until just before midday as we are anchored behind a big knob of a hill.  After midday we start to harvest some decent amps and the fridge is back on to keep the beer in condition.

The weather forecast is upgraded from the expected twenty knots to thirty knots, still with rough seas.  Now they are predicting perfect SW fifteen knots for Friday.  Sailing on Friday looks good.

Its only forty miles up the coast to Milford.  But, almost half of that distance is in the sounds where sailing is tricky.  I want to arrive in daylight therefore I need to depart very early morning from George Sound, hoping I can sail out of George sound in good time and sail into Milford Sound on the afternoon sea breeze.  A bit of a lottery.

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