Sunday, June 18, 2017

Home is were the freedom chips are.

Well it now feels as though the UK and Ireland are a lifetime ago. We are back into our winter working routine, saving some more freedom chips. Our big adventure overseas has only whetted our appetite for travel, and settling down to work took a lot longer than usual. The last few months have been a series of swings and roundabouts, scheming and planning, then planning and scheming, only to step back to reality and the long wait till summer.
Sunset, Bay of Islands

We kept Kabuki up on the mooring in the Bay of Islands for a few months, and after work on a Friday evening we would pack up and go, she was only an hour away and we had some lovely weekends floating around the Islands. Then on Friday the 14th March (easter weekend) we headed up to Opua  ready for the sail back down the coast to Whangarei. There had been a blow over Wednesday into Thursday and things had quietened down a little, but we were not to sure what the sea conditions were like. We got on board and got the old girl ready for going to sea, we had decided to head out and make the decision when we got closer to Cape Brett.

So off we set, saying good bye to Opua and the trusty mooring, we motored out past Paihia and Russell with the mainsail set, then it was off with the engine and out with the Headsail, the wind was about 10 knots at this stage. Going around Tapeka Point can be a bit hairy with an onshore swell, and the swell was expected to be 3 metres, but we sailed past with no worries. Our thoughts turned to getting Kabuki home, so the decision was made, we would head out round Cape Brett for the 60 mile dash down the coast to Whangarei Heads.
Sailing Home

As we got closer to Cape Brett and further out from the shelter of the Bay the swell got bigger and more confused, but Kabuki sailed on doing 7 knots down the back of some waves. We had a 3 metre swell from the E and the wind swell picked up from the NW, but with 15- 25 knots of wind we were flying if a bit uncomfortably. As we rounded Cape Brett the confusion eased and it turned from white knuckle sailing to glorious. The wind held for most of the way, but as per usual once we got near Tutukaka it died away and we slowed right down. So on with the Iron Genny and a motorsail to the Mad Woman (a rock formation off Bream Head), as we got closer to the entrance of Whangarei harbour the waves eased even more. We dropped sail and motored around to Taurikura in the dark, brandishing the flashlight in search of rogue moorings. We dropped anchor at 2300hrs and settled down for a quiet night in the arms of Taurikura Bay.

The next morning we were up early to catch the tide up the harbour to Whangarei, we now had a mission on our minds. We secured Kabuki to the Marina at the Town Basin, I think she was glad to be home after her holiday adventure in the Bay of Islands. We walked up the road to home and then got set for an evening of Westsail natter at a fellow owners place i.e. I whipped up a Cheesecake for a Pot Luck dinner with other likeminded sailors. We were so pleased we made it back for the dinner, we had a lovely time catching up with some overseas visitors who also have good taste and own a Westsail Yacht.

We kept Kabuki on the Marina for 3 weeks, doing some cleaning and preparing her for the winter ahead. Every year we take all of her sails off, including the Furling Headsail, we give her a good clean and top up the Diesel tanks to stop water condensing in them over the winter months. After 3 weeks we motored Kabuki down to our Pile moorings in the river. So there she sits, Paul has gone out every weekend to do other jobs like changing the engine oil, cleaning the filters and patching up little bits here and there.

Winter has arrived at last, in fact we are coming up to the shortest day, a veritable high point in the calendar, as once that is past the days only get longer, and we can see that summer is on its way again.

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