Friday, July 29, 2011

From the Captain...

It's been a grey blustery day, kind of trapped at anchor.

It started this morning with a weather front moving through that surprised several boats, myself included, in that it turned the "good anchorage" into a lee shore suddenly.  It was a matter of haul up anchor and move - right now.  The electric windlass is a high priority addition.  I was in a small bay flanked on the north by the isalnd (Huahini) and on the south by the fringing reef.  when the wind changed the lee shore was way to close.  I moved down the coast to a big bay, that is deep (100') but I set the hook in the lee of the east side just on the edge of the reef in 60' and I've sat here dancing in the wind all day.  At least if I drag, it's out to the center of the bay with a mile to play with.  Haven't moved and with luck the front is just about done moving through.

It sure is a task to handle the boat in blustery conditons, in confined space and haul up the anchor.  Also, with 120' of chain out, the system is at the limit of what I can handle, especially given the poor configuration of the chain locker and hand windlass.  I've certainly learned a lot.  The hand windlass wouldn't be bad if the chain would stow properly by gravity and if you didn't have to disconnect the rode from the chain to get it into the locker.  I have nasty visions of the chain running away and being lost because of that.   I've rigged a short piece of rope that is anchored in the chain locker so that when the rode is disconnected, the chain is secured to that, so at least that can't happen - or in an emergency one can dump the anchor and 80' chain and know it's attached to the boat.  Trouble is that you need at least 100' of chain, preferably more in most areas around here.  The most rode you can use is the depth of water or else there is the risk of the rope hanging up on coral and getting chafed through - and then where are you at???

So I sat, and read, and fidgeted - and made custard with coconut milk.  Comfort food - different but OK.

I was supposed to go diving today, but the boat move scuttled that.  Perhaps tomorrow and then off to the island of Raitrea.  The decision has been made that the boat is not moving north this year - I reviewed the weather data and decided it just isn't smart given I'm single handing and relativley inexperienced in the weather I might get clobbered with.  So, the next move will be clear in few days.

Not much else, thought you'd like to hear about the custard.

Take care - all is well.

At 28/07/2011 6:49 AM (utc) our position was 16°48.68'S 150°59.50'W