Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. This season we spent 5 months exploring Vanuatu and are now on the east coast of Australia.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

There may be trouble ahead...

The trick with the game of passage-planning is to try not to leave a nice cosy harbour in sea conditions that make the boat and its crew heave around like items of clothing in a washing machine (it tends to make the crew dispirited, downright grumpy or sick - often all three) and to look as far ahead as possible to get nice conditions for arrival at your destination. A bit of unpleasantness in the middle of the passage can be tolerated if you have already got your sea legs and there's the promise of a bit of sunshine and calm water in a day or two's time.

We are rather struggling to master this trick at the moment, it has to be said. We now have a huge high pressure system heading for New Zealand this weekend which will give accelerated SE winds further north of here (near gale force possibly), while a distinctly unfriendly low pressure trough is heading towards us from the east coast of Australia. Where the two systems meet next week would be right in our path and would create really horrid conditions of rain, squalls and confused seas.

Monday next week - the high pressure (with anti-clockwise winds) over NZ and the trough approaching from Australia

A day later, and the winds are almost northerly,  making the sail a tough beat to windward

and a day later, next Wednesday, the winds would finally ease but would still be on our nose

So we aren't leaving this week! Hmm, we always suspected that the end of an El NiƱo season would be tricky but ........ It's also getting a bit chilly here!

Our team name in the Opua Cruising Club's Quiz Night last week was "The Patient Mariners" (and we came a not-too-shabby third), so we'll see if we can live up to that name in the coming few days.


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