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!

The Broken Hatch


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.

After arriving at around 2pm we had a frantic rush around to try to get the various trades people lined up to help us. We were grateful to friends who advised us to use Graeme Rigden at Opua Boatbuilders to repair the hatch. He did a very efficient job and the hatch is now reinstalled and looking good. We also managed to get an awkward puncture in our dinghy floor repaired. Pat had tried twice to fix it but it was on a seam and kept leaking.

The new hatch
On the not so positive side, Pat spent a large part of the week trying to diagnose electrical problems. After much reading of the Balmar manuals, countless voltage and continuity readings and discussions with local electricians, who weren’t actually available to come and look, we concluded that the regulator was at fault. A new one was ordered and arrived today and Pat duly fitted it. It made no difference  at all! So we still have intermittent charging from the engine but we have alternative means of charging and so will live with the problem for now whilst we wait on some suggestions from Balmar.


Our stay here has at least allowed us to stock up on provisions, do some laundry and have a few showers. Debi has also been for a few runs to keep the fitness up. We plan to set off again tomorrow for Tasman Bay. The winds look slightly better than on Monday and so hopefully we will have an uneventful trip this time. The other piece of good news is that it’s the 1st February so dry January is over!!!!! Cheers

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