Crossing Cook Strait – Ngaruru Bay to Wgtn 16 April 2016

Crew: Peter, Mark, Graciela Geoff.

Marine Forecast: Cape Terawhiti 15-20 kt northeasterly winds, fine, 1-1.4 mt swell.

To catch the best tides for an easterly crossing we needed to be leaving Tory Channel at 0600 hrs. After a calm night on the mooring at Ngaruru Bay we were woken by our alarm at 4.45 am and by 0504 hrs we had let go the mooring and were off!

Pitch black night with only the navigation lights and stars guiding us (as well as the chartplotter on the laptop) as we motored up Tory Channel. First excitement as we neared the Tory Channel entrance was a blaze of lights seemingly stationary in front of us which we quickly realised was a ferry (The Straitsman). We kept well clear as she passed by on our port side.

Once we cleared Tory Channel Entrance at 0600 the wind picked up and we set the No. 3 Jib with 1 reef in the Mainsail and enjoyed hot porridge and views of the beautiful sunrise as sailed out to open sea. We averaged 6 kts across the strait. Speed over ground picked up to 9-10 kts as we neared Karori Rock at 0830 hrs on a beam reach with the 2nd reef in the mainsail.

Had to be careful dodging the cray pots off Island Bay then entered Wellington Harbour through Chaffers passage at 1024 hrs with the northerly wind rising to 20 kts. Finally rounded Pt Halswell at 1109 hrs and made our triumphant arrival back in Chaffers (with Marjorie and Paul cheering us on from a neighbouring yacht) at 1149 hrs.

Total Distance 38.12 Nautical miles. Avg speed 5.56 kts. Time enroute 6 hrs 44 mins.

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