Thursday, January 10, 2019

Passage to Napier

[Kyle]Our wind shift arrived at 3am on the second night anchoring in Hicks Bay. There were tailwinds down the coast, the beach was now a lee shore and even though it was pitch black, we needed to get out of there. Luckily, there’s nothing but open ocean for 5,000 miles, so getting away without hitting anything was easy.

We did a couple of long tacks and by sunrise, we doubled the cape and eased the sheets for a much more comfortable downwind run than our last. The wind was blowing slightly off of the land, so our seas were flatter than usual, the air was warmer than usual and it had with it an ever changing array of land smells; flowers, herbs, wet earth, dry grass…

The wind picked up a bit overnight, again ensuring that neither of us got any decent sleep on our off watches. We were both a little relieved when it started to fade. It then did us the favor of bending to follow us as we rounded Portland Island and entered Hawke Bay.

We didn’t quite have enough wind to get us across in daylight. The harbor at Napier is well marked and well lit for a night entry, so we felt comfortable giving it a go. Everything was pretty straightforward until the end. Our assigned dock had a strong wind blowing sideways across it, which makes it really hard to land without bumping our way in. With help from our neighbor and some quick line handling by Maryanne, we managed to get stopped and tied up without impaling anything.

As usual, we were wiped out from skipping our last off watches in anticipation of our arrival, but the pull of a new place was too strong and we decided to have a little walk around.

Our first impression of Napier (actually the small boat harbor is in nearby Uhuriri) was not too favorable. Most of the marine infrastructure was a little overdue for some maintenance; there were unoccupied buildings and a general atmosphere of dereliction. We had read much about how lovely Napier is with all of its art deco architecture, but we seemed to not be in that district. Ours was a lot of warehouses and boxy apartment blocks of the type that were designed to save every penny in design and construction costs. I was a little apprehensive about the prospect of spending more than a couple of days here. All of our latest forecasts were saying we would have to stay put for a while.

{Maryanne}I was excited as we also had some parts arriving for us to meet up with - we would (hopefully) finally fix our wind instrument. More importantly we (finally) caught a fish - actually we caught 2 but one got away. The one that we caught and kept (an albacore tuna) provided us with several meals, including ceviche - Yum Yum.


Catching Fish - FINALLY!

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