Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Day 9: Hoping not to snatch Disaster from the jaws of Victoire.

Good morning from Maunie. A slightly earlier post today as (we hope) we'll be busy with sails this afternoon.
As expected we motored through calm winds last night and the wind still hasn't filled in as I write (10.00am). The latest forecast is that we should get a sailable breeze from the NW this afternoon. The extra revs on the engine to make her move at 5.8 knots rather than 5 knots seem to make quite a difference to fuel consumption and we are wishing we had been even more cheeky with the tanker Victoire and asked for 50 litres! Still, we have used a hand-pump to empty the dregs of diesel from the reserve tank and put them, through a filter to remove any tank-bottom sediment, into a jerrycan. The five litres in that can will be our 'motoring-in' fuel, to avoid an embarrassing engine stoppage as we arrive in Opua where the current runs fast, and the diesel remaining in our main tank will last 7 or 8 hours (we are back at plodding speed, but thankfully have a favourable current at last) by which time the wind should be here. Wow, it's closer than comfortable but we are so pleased that we got the fuel we did from the Victoire as we'd be stopped in the water now without it.
We have 165 miles to run to the Bay of Islands (and about a further 6 miles into Opua) so we should, if we can maintain a 6 knot average, be in sheltered waters by 3.00pm tomorrow, Thursday. The latest inshore forecast is:
Forecast Wednesday 28th October:
Variable 10 knots. Northwest 15 knots developing this afternoon. Sea slight.

Northerly 15 knots, changing Thursday evening southerly 30 knots.
So it's still keeping us on the edge of our seats – that southerly could arrive earlier, of course, and even if it doesn't, we will be sailing into an occluded front (basically a warm front caught up by a cold front) which will give us heavy rain, poor visibility and even possibly thunder storms tomorrow! We like a dramatic arrival but this might be taking things too far!
Anyway in the meantime there is lots to do today, preparing the spinnaker lines for a hoist as soon as the wind comes, cooking a chicken curry up in advance for this evening, and preparing the boat for potentially heavy weather. We'll both try to get some decent off-watch sleep too as tonight might keep us busy. All being well our next update on the blog will be from the dock in Opua but there will be another position update on

1 comment:

  1. With such an outstanding pun at the top of this post, what could possibly go wrong? Keeping everything crossed for you and see you soon! Trish