As we prepared to depart Russell this morning I was pleased to see the water was fairly calm and there was a nice breeze. In the distance the sun was rising and it appeared to be the perfect day to start our passage. We had decided that we’d just go north around 55 NM to Doubtless Bay where we’d spend one night before making the long passage up and over Cape Reinga and down to Marlborough Sound.
The main reason for this is because I am determined to see the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. If the weather is favorable we should be able to see the line where they meet. For me, it’s something more than just the visual though.
After traveling to and from New Zealand and the islands three times now I have a vast respect for what happens when oceans and seas collide. That trip puts you in vicinity of a place called John’s Corner which is where the Coral Sea, Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet.
When seas and oceans collide a lot of crazy, not fun crazy, things can occur. Weather systems, currents, swells, and winds become jumbled up and can create quite the havoc. Having experienced this havoc first hand I would like to see the actual convergence of at least part of it. So, for me…actually seeing this line is sort like a victory moment. You l know, saying “I’ve crossed you and so far I’ve beaten you.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting cocky. Not at all! I know all too well how quickly Mother Nature and Poseidon can turn on you. In a millisecond they can show you just how powerless you are against their will. So, no, I’m not being cocky…just looking for a little confidence booster. And besides…who wouldn’t want to see the line in the ocean?
Anyway, we left Russell and as soon as we turned into the channel to head from the bay to the ocean we started getting hit with wind and swell directly on the nose. It wasn’t a nice rolling swell either. Nope this was the kind of choppy, chunky stuff that makes Dazzler bounce up and slam down on the water. With each hit you feel Dazzler’s bones shudder. The sound below is loud and filled with creaking and groaning as if Dazzler is telling you to make it stop. It’s definitely not one of the things I particularly enjoy about this life. In fact, I could go forever without it. But, it’s a part of the deal so I endure.
How Can I Be Seasick?
Today, however, it seems my body has decided that this bouncing and rolling is a bit more than it can handle. For the first time in my entire life, tens of thousands of miles on the water in all sorts of seas, I feel myself getting seasick. It literally came on in an instant. One moment I’m on the computer feeling perfectly fine. The next I want to die!
I crawled up the companionway stairs and Dan took one look at me and instantly knew something wasn’t right. I told him I was nauseous and thought I was going to lose my cookies. He sent me back below and told me to eat some candied ginger. It’s supposed to help with seasickness. We keep it on board just because we like it.
It was everything I could do to choke it down. I followed it with a few sips of warm cola. That usually helps my tummy. HA! Not today Batman! Within minutes I found myself scrambling up the stairs and to the side. Chum anyone???
Fortunately that part didn’t last too long. I helped Dan to get up the sails then went below to lay down. I fell asleep and a couple of hours later I woke up just fine. Not sure why it happened but I’m glad it was short lived. Being on a boat bouncing around in rough seas is no place to be when you’re nauseous.
I always used to snicker at those who got seasick. Thought they just weren’t tough enough or didn’t have a strong gut. You know…Lilly livered landlubbers. Well, for all he times I ever thought that…I’m sorry! I guess it can even happen to us tough old sailor rats.
By the time I woke up we had rounded the Cavalli Islands and the seas were coming more from behind. The ride was smoother. The sun was out and we were sailing along nicely at 6 knots or so. I still spent the better part of the afternoon below. I wasn’t taking any chances.
Before I knew it were we’re rounding Puketakahia Point (I just love saying that) at the south end of Doubtless Bay. It was another 4-5 NM in to Hihi beach where we dropped the hook for the night. The anchorage was simply lovely and calm too. There was a single catamaran there and that was it. It was serene and beautiful!
As we’re sitting in the cockpit enjoying the early evening we see the sailboats coming out of Mangonui Harbour just to our west. It’s Wednesday so we decide it must be the start of the usual Wednesday evening beer can sailboat races. Wednesday seems to be the day of choice for yacht and sailing clubs to hold these races. It wasn’t long before we realized that what we thought was a mooring buoy to our starboard side was really one of their marks. Turns out we inadvertently ended up with ringside seats for the race.
All in there were about 16-18 boats racing. Four were in the spinnaker class and the rest in the non spinnaker class. Having spent a couple of years racing with my good friend Tom a Grubb on his J24, Silver Streak, I was truly enjoying watching this up close. And, I probably shouldn’t admit this but I was quietly heckling the spinnaker group as they struggled to get their spinnakers flying after rounding the mark. We may not have won many races but we did have this down. LOL
We did so enjoy our evening entertainment. As the boats were leaving our area Dan fired up the grill and fixed us a lovely dinner of chicken and corn on the cob. Afterward we watched one of the most glorious sunsets ever! What a perfect way to end a day that started out a little rough.
Here’s hoping tomorrow will see me back in true sailor form. If not the Captain may decide to use me for shark bait, I don’t think he will be able to handle five days of me being that way. But then I couldn’t handle it either.
Until next time,