Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 9, 2009

One year ago today we were on our crossing from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. It was the day Bob saw the flare and we turned around into the wind and the waves and ploughed into them for four hours in case someone was in trouble. I wonder why someone shot off the flare; I guess we will never know. It seems like a lot longer ago than a year. A lot has happened since then.
We are at Great Barrier Island again, waiting out some bad weather. We are anchored in a bay that has 360 degree protection. There is a narrow entrance into the bay to the north east of us and all around are wooded hills that are at least 200 meters high. The largest stretch of water around us is about 150 meters to the south of us, so there is very little room for the waves to build up to anything significant. The weather report last night was calling for winds of 30 knots gusting to 40, so it is a good day to stay hunkered down in a safe anchorage.
The weather was fascinating to watch today. The winds were from the southwest and every two hours there was a huge build up of dark glowering clouds over the hill in that direction. We would be sitting on deck in the bright sunshine and look up and there would be this scary bunch of thick heavy cumulus clouds. The sun would disappear, the temperature would drop. At one point we saw the wind approaching, the boats on the other side of the bay were blown around, one tipped over about 25 degrees at one point, then the water would be covered in with short sharp waves. Then the wind would hit us and the boat would strain at the anchor, swinging back and forth. The rain would start, slowly at first and then the pace and the force of the drops would increase. Soon the visibility would decrease, the rain would be coming down in sheets and you could barely see across the anchorage. The deluge would last for about 10 minutes, the wind would die, the rain cease, the clouds would disperse and 20 minutes later the sun would come out. This happened at least 3 times, amazing to watch; so glad we aren’t out sailing, having to reef in and let the sails out to adjust to the winds.
It is supposed to clear up tomorrow so we may sail across the 40 nm to the entrance to the Whangarei River and hang about there until Tuesday when we will be hauled out. We are eating up what ever provisions we have left on the boat. Yesterday we had potato salad and cauliflower with cheese sauce for supper. I think it is going to be tuna casserole tonight and then whatever we can come up with that involves canned tomatoes and beans (of all sorts, green, kidney, garbonzo, black and pork n) with pineapple for dessert, YUMMM!!