Sign me up for that. You have surely noticed by now that there really isn’t a book in print that tells us exactly what to do in different situations. Would we heed its advise even if such a book existed? You know Life for Dummies, Sailing For Dummies, Weather for Dummies, etc… An emphatic, No! Why not? Why do we have to be our very own Darwin Awards Nominee? Wouldn’t life be so much easier if there were instructions? Things like, “That stove is going to be hot after you cook something”. Or, “If you fall and break a leg, don’t come running to me.” Some things are just more obvious than others and I believe that provides for the occasional moment when sometimes God smiles on the stupid.
We last left you dear friends as we put out to sea after getting our butts kicked by that nasty fast moving 996 hectopascal low pressure in Tolaga Bay. We left that bay in our wake and headed north toward another unknown adventure. Rounding the East Cape. I hope we have enough Charmin with us.
It was about 1530 hours and we had ruined our dinner plans for a home cooked fiesta of an empanada stove top experiment from the lovely and talented future Mrs. Morrison. Look at her there with her hair shoved under that cap. Outfitted in her ever stylish red and black West Marine foul weather gear looking for a photo shoot. Her angst look of no sleep from the droopy eyes has that wild ride in the bunk look from the previous night that I’d like to take credit for, but alas it was the storm that kept her awake. Well that, along with being magically elevated above the bunk mattress like a David Copperfield performance. Only there weren’t any hoops or wires. It was the sheer energy from the force of the storm swells pounding down upon us. Yes, I’m guessing it was one hundred percent unadulterated exhaustion. If only I’d have know she didn’t like it, I could have unplugged the pony ride and turned it all off. If only it had been that easy.
We gathered our thoughts, attacked the weather sites for a closer look as we left Tolaga Bay and Internet access. Perhaps if we listened closely we might have even heard the captain on the Jungle Safari ride at Disneyland telling everyone to wave goodbye to our friends left standing on the shore.
What? Wait a minute? Are we sure we want to take this boat ride?
As it turns out, the weather was going to work in our favor. At least according to several prediction sites. In fact it may even afford us a longer clear passage between East Cape and the Mercury Islands at the northern edge of the Coromandel Peninsula.
We arrived at eastern edge of East Cape at about 0130 hours. Not what I originally hoped for…we were about 12 hours ahead of schedule. I was expecting to be on watch from our departure from Tolaga Bay until 2300 hours. But, I got a reprieve when Jilly, dressed in her foulies and ready for watch, greeted me from the companion way.
I asked what she was doing and she replied it was 2300 hours. I was fairly sure it was only about 2100 hours and checked several time keeping devices. Needles to say, Jilly wasn’t very happy to be up dressed and ready for watch duties two hours earlier than needed. Sure glad I wasn’t going to be on deck with her for the next few hours. Poor Grape Ape…there’s nothing worse than being on watch with a grumpy, sleep deprived mate. Sorry Buddy!
Knowing that under our regular watch schedule she would be the one at the helm as we steered around the eastern edge of East Cape, we decided that since she was already ready to go we would make a quick schedule change so I’d be awake to navigate the cape. She took over the helm as I went down to get a few hours of lullaby time.
At 0030 hours, I was up at the helm and she was off watch and left me to skipper Dazzler around a potentially dangerous cape. We only experienced a few rough jumbled sea conditions while traversing across East Cape. There was an occasional small pod of Common Dolphins and one well lit up fishing vessel along our travels along with a bright night sky and thousands of stars. Orion and the Southern Cross stood out so vividly that it was hard not to stare at them for prolonged periods.
By 0900 hours, I was back on watch and we were clear the cape and any of the possible rips, currents or eddies that we could have experienced if the weather was a lot rougher.
Our next target would be the Coromandel Peninsula about 120 miles to our west. Although the winds were in our favor from the northeast along with the Pacific swell, the clouds overhead blocked the sunshine and blue sky. Farther to the West we could see patches of blue sky that we hoped to see by late afternoon.
The Miles Stroll On By
With another overnight passage behind us we have completed motor sailing across the Bay of Plenty. By the way don’t fall in the water here. We’ve read of numerous stories of shark attacks in these waters. One included a Shark that literally leaped out of the sea and landed in a boat just a couple of months ago. The shark was almost as big as the Tinny it landed in.
This morning finds us passing through the Colville Channel. Located between the southerly end of Great Barrier Island and the northern cape of the Coromandel Peninsula. Jilly has taken over watch and seen lots of wildlife including a large raft of those darling little blue penguins.
Just a few more hours of motor sailing now and we will have nearly completed our circumnavigation of North Island New Zealand. We’ll spend one night anchored at Uhrquharts Bay before making the final run up to Whangerie Town Basin Marina where we’ll enjoy a much deserved ice cold traditional anchor down beer. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
Until next time, enjoy life to the fullest and remember to tip your server.