Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Windy Week...

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:

This week we continued to explore the east coast of New Zealand's north Island.  

I'm sorry if this entry is a bit technical (and boring), but we have been asked many questions over the years about anchoring, and while not "experts", over 75% of our nights are spent "on the hook".

As a bit of background, we have an 85lb. (40kg.) MANTUS ANCHOR as our PRIMARY anchor.  Attached to that is a 1/2" galvanized swivel, then 300 feet (100 meters) of 3/8 G-4 High Tensile galvanized ACCO chain.  All together, costing over $2000, but worth EVERY penny!

Our SECONDARY anchor is a 65lb. (30kg.) BRUCE ANCHOR which is attached to a SS swivel then 100 feet of 3/8 G-4 High Tensile galvanized ACCO chain, then 200 feet of 3/4" triple braid nylon line.

We have a THIRD or STERN ANCHOR attached to the stern rail with 30 feet (10 meters) of chain and 100 feet (30 meters) of 5/8 triple braid nylon line in the lazarette that is used in an emergency or in situations where we require a stern anchor.

On February 8th we got word that we were going to be hit with a big blow from the southwest. They forecast sustained winds over 40 knots and as usual, it was going to happen at night.

I dove our anchor and we let out more scope and lengthened the snubber. We where as ready as we could be when the wind picked up around dinner time.  As I looked out I saw the first casualty of the rising wind when a small 7 meter sailboat dragged down on our neighbors, Peter and Clair on s/v Dune...

We quickly launched the dinghy and I was able to pull the dragging boat away from Dune before there was any damage.  The sailor decided that he would be better off on a mooring so left for another bay...  Whew!

Before bedtime there were 4 boats nicely spread out at the head of the bay. s/v Dune was 200 meters south west of us and two power boats were southeast of us.  About 2 am I went out on deck and did an anchor check and found that one of the two powerboats was much closer to us than before.  I radioed them and they assured me their anchor had re-set and they were holding....  That was the end of sleep that night.  Every hour I faced the wind and rain to make sure the powerboat didn't get into anymore trouble.

In the morning, Dune was exactly where she started, one of the powerboats held, but the one who dragged was only now 50 meters south of me.  At least now it was daylight.  We have decided to avoid short scoped boats from now on...  It seems around here 3:1 is a BIG scope.

For reference, we only drop 3:1 in calm weather for a few daylight hours.  5:1 is our normal overnight configuration and 7:1 - 10:1 is used when we are in bad weather....  we also ALWAYS use a snubber which acts as a shock absorber in the waves and lowers the angle of attack on the chain so dragging becomes less likely.  If we are anchored properly, the only time we will move is if something in the system fails (i.e. a shackle).

That ended the drama for this week.  We explored the hot springs before we left the bay which ended up being a 12 kilometer hike AFTER a nice man gave us a ride up the road 6km to the start of the trail...

The hot springs were not as spectacular as we had hoped... The were hot, but not very deep and kind of ikky on the bottom...  They also smelled of sulfur.  That said, it was a lovely day and we got to know Peter and Clair as we tramped along...

Hamish was not allowed to walk the trail....  He was allowed to be carried....

A day or so later we continued south and settled into Tryphena Bay. We walked long the road around the whole bay.  We met up with Peter and Clair (s/v Dune) who had gone north and had rented a car...  With them we had a chance to explore some of the east side of the island which is home to some beautiful beaches.

We also met a lovely couple, Rob & Evelyn (s/v Magician) who joined us as we celebrated valentines day with dinner out at a local Irish Pub...

From Great Barrier Island we visited Kawau Island where we spent a few days before moving back to the mainland, where we have anchored in Jamison Bay for the last few days. On one of our moves we caught a 5lb. (2.5kg) Kahawai.  A fish that locals say is like salmon...  While we didn't think it tasted or looked like salmon, it sure was good eats...

The Town of Workworth is about 6 kilometers from where we are anchored by river.  On Saturday Shelley and I took the dinghy to town and did some shopping.  What a beautiful trip up the river!

Later in the day we re-united with Scott & Nikki (s/v Beachhouse) who are now living in Australia. They few to NZ to do some touring and took us out for a great meal! It was so nice to catch up...

We met up with our good friend, Graham (s/v TeArie) who helped us weld together a new bar that should hopefully prevent us from breaking any more solar panels with the main boom. 

He showed up with a few dozen clams the locals call "Pipi's".  Again... good eats....

Shelley has really taken to making pictures of birds.  She has discovered and photographed some very interesting and rare species, many only live in this area... Pretty cool...

A Blue Penguin!

More soon!