Our friends on Kiapa, Exit Strategy, Ithaka and a few other boats who left Opua on Saturday must, unfortunately, be wishing they were still here. Their weather window has proved to be an unfriendly one and they are suffering strong winds (25-30 knots) and big seas (4m waves) with some seasickness thrown in (or should that be 'up'?) for good measure. They are sailing against a ENE wind which will swing round to the NE in the next few days and they are trying to head just east of north. We've been talking to them on the radio twice a day but, sadly, Graham can't find a weather forecast that will give them much comfort for the next couple of days at least.
We, meanwhile, have been enjoying light winds and sunshine so vital jobs are being done:
|Taking advantage of the weather to dry the laundry|
Our preoccupation at the moment, however, is with our propeller. The package, via DHL, seems to be fated for some reason - it was delayed in UK customs for 3 days and now it's being held up in NZ Customs in Auckland! Frantic phone calls and emails to DHL and Customs have so far yielded no results and we are booked for a lift out of the water tomorrow. We've decided to put the boat into a cradle for a couple of days so that the engineer who did the engine work a few weeks ago can do a better job of aligning the engine and prop shaft (which was making a nasty grating noise when we ran it the other day); we hope that this will give us enough time for the propeller to turn up.
Meanwhile Graham's visit to the dentist last Friday has turned into a mini-drama. What we thought would be a filling under the edge of a crown on a back molar has turned into a very unpleasant and painful extraction so we're now also concerned if that might cause us to delay our departure. A further visit to the dentist on Thursday will tell us more.
The next possible weather window is this Saturday but we are increasingly pessimistic about how good it will be, whether the prop will have arrived or whether Graham's tooth with be ok. If we miss this window, we're in for a really nasty westerly gale here next week so would probably pay the cost to be in the well-sheltered marina for a few days rather than bouncing around on the mooring. We've found a really good new forecasting website called www.windyty.com which provides a very clear animation of what's coming in your area.
So, it's all not going quite to plan. Organised like a military operation, as Graham's Dad would say.