Showing posts from 2019

A very busy week


Tasman Bay at Last

Well after what feels like multiple attempts we have finally made it to South Island. We departed early last Saturday from the Bay of Islands Marina, but as we motored out into the bay we realised that the alternator was not charging at all. So after some debate we pulled into a sheltered bay and dropped anchor to investigate.
There was nothing obvious, but having just changed the regulator and having spent an hour on Whatsapp chatting to one of Ash’s friends, Cam, who is a whiz on all things electrical, we became convinced it was the alternator that was the problem. 

We contemplated giving up on heading to South Island and instead heading down the east coast to Marsden Cove, where we knew there was a good electrician who we trusted. But, that all seemed a bit defeatist and so, not without some trepidation, Pat decided to change out the alternator for the spare one. It took about three hours and some mildly blue language, but by midday it was done and seemed to work. So at 1230 we haule…

Return to Base

Well that didn’t go according to plan at all. Basically we left on Monday and got about three hours north of Waitepipi Bay when we managed to catch the headsail sheet in the forward hatch and ripped the handle off also breaking the Perspex. It would appear that the hatch wasn’t properly closed and Pat didn’t notice that the lazy sheet was tight as he cranked on the active sheet. Hey ho!

We decided it was unwise to head off around the west coast of North Island with no way of sealing the forward cabin and so we turned around and headed back to Waitepipi Bay for the night. There was an air of disappointment onboard and the mood really tested our ability to stick with dry January, but we managed to remain controlled.
On Tuesday we headed back down to Opua and back into the marina. We had to motor the whole way as there was negligible wind, but Pat did catch a 4kg tuna on the way, so that was a positive. However, on the negative side we had a return of our alternator woes on the way back.

Whangaroa Harbour

So having spent hours trying to start the outboard last week we now find out (from Ash) that there’s an Australian product for stubborn engines appropriately called “Start Ya Bastard”. We are definitely getting some of that at the next provisioning stop! To be fair though the outboard has behaved impeccably since then.(Footnote from Debi:Pat did use the verbal form of this product in his efforts to fix the outboard)
We went ashore to Urupukapuka Island on Thursday and had a nice 6km walk around the island with some stunning views of the Bay of Islands. There was a relay race going on around the island whilst we were there, where the baton seemed to be a beer bottle! As we are still on dry January Pat was tempted to join in, but it all seemed too energetic, so we retired to X-Pat to resume relaxing.

On Friday we said goodbye to the Bay of Islands and headed north. We had a great sail for the first hour, with the new mainsail performing well and a pod of about 15 spinner dolphins keeping …

Back on the Water

We are back on the water! Since leaving X-Pat in the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua at the end of August, we have been away doing other things (on land). With the exception of a one week visit by Pat in November to check things were all ok, X-Pat has been looking after herself.
Pat arrived back on Sunday 13th January to start getting things back in order. This has included cleaning out the diesel tanks, fixing broken bits and pieces following our boisterous trip back from Tonga and updating the software and charts on the navigation systems.
Debi arrived back on Wednesday and we hired a car to go and get all the provisions and sort out the all-important internet contract. We also filled the gas bottles and so are now well and truly provisioned for some time away from civilisation.
On Thursday our long awaited new mainsail arrived. Fitting took a bit longer than we anticipated and so we delayed our departure until Saturday. This allowed us to get the sail fitted but unfortunately the n…