Cook Strait Crossing 30 March 2016

Crew: Simon, Peter, Graciela, Geoff

Marine Forecast: Cape Terawhiti 10-15 kt southerly winds, clouds clearing, 1-1.5 mt swell.

Graciela and Geoff slept the previous night on board so we would be prepared for our 0630 meeting with Peter and Simon (our guide and mentor) and our planned departure for 0715. After final safety briefings we left Chaffers Marina just before 0730 and motor sailed slowly (4-5 kts SOG) out the harbour into headwinds while enjoying the beautiful sunrise views. Sent our Trip Report (TR) to Maritime NZ on Ch. 16.

Turned the engine off passing Lyall Bay and sailed with the No. 3 Jib and one reef in the Main. We were visited by a large pod of dolphins. By the time we passed Sinclair Head at 1000 hrs we were taking full advantage of the southerlies and a following tide current sailing at up to 8.3 kts SOG. A record for us! Seas were rough and Halo was bouncing around a bit. We used our tethers connected to the jack line to avoid any unplanned swims.

Things settled down once we left the Karori Rip and we did around 6.5 kts across the strait. Sighted lots of birds; sheerwaters, terns and a large albatross. Prior to arriving at Tory Channel we did the required call on Ch. 19 advising our ETA at the entrance. Luckily no ferries were around so we turned on the engine and motored through the entrance at 1255 unchallenged!.

Winds dropped right off as we went up Tory Channel and into Queen Charlotte Sound so we had to continue motoring at around 6 kts. Arrived at Picton Marina at 1605 and tied up at the visitor’s jetty. We made it!!

Total distance 49.5 miles, average speed 5.5 kts. Total time 9 hrs.

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