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Old 04-10-2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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Story of my Sparkmans Stephens 24ft yacht, My crew Emma my daughter 16. My dog Stig 7mths. 10 day trip out of Whangarei, New Zealand around our Islands and coast.

A multitude of money spent updating fixing my boat to where I thought it was bulletproof. Took it out out on a rough day hammered it, broke a Jib sheet block, Delighted better now than later.

All stocked up we left for the Mohokihanus Islands a 50 mile sail.To catch the tide going out of the harbour we left mid afternoon. The wind NE15 Mod sea on the port nose the boat pounded her way out. Emma seasick, im feeling abit worse for wear, The dog moving not sure looking at me probably thinking What the h***.

Arrived out there 4am hove to. It is a rocky outpost. Daughter called me at dawn we go in and drop anchor, took the dog ashore for a walk. It would not even cock its leg, let alone.........

On arrival back at the boat told my daughter to go for a snorkel we not staying . She loved it 40ft vis fish awesome. I caught the weather report SE35 Heavy rain, thunderstorms. Time to get out of there so set sail for the Poor knights islands(one of the top dive sites in the world). Emma says she will take the helm, I went for a sleep. The sound through the hul,l yeah we doing alright. awhile later step up on deck. theres the departure point 5ml behind becalmed, clear skies. Bugger!!! The dog sprawled on its back asleep.

Forcast SE35kts rain thunderstorms.

As the day dragged on the chance of arriving at days end to the knights dissappeared so decided to carry on to the Bay of Islands. As I didnt want to sit around waiting for daylight. After Emma had a big sleep she took over late afternoon I went over the chart showed her where we were rocks about 15 ml port port fwd Island fwd stbd 5ml away. All good, wake me if in doubt.

go below sleep, when I awake its dark outside. Emma sitting with tears in her eyes. She had thought she had every rock every bit of coastline ahead and we were heading toward to whole lot. Her imagination in the dark took over. Set a position all good. A big hug and off to bed she went I changed course for her peace of mind headed out outside everything SE20 came up the little boat flew 3hrs later, Babe can you take her for awhile. she alot happier moons up now. Dog asleep up fwd stirring occasionally

Forcast SE35 rain thunder.

I turn in later bang bang bang up on deck Emma sitting there sailing in circles trying her best to hold a course becalmed, sloppy sea. More words of reassurance. No sign of wind and the forcast set a course for Tutukaka start the motor 5hrs just at 5 in the moning arrive and hang out til dawn.

Went in anchored and turned in,

1pm wake up to find a beautiful day NE. Turn on the weather NE15 to N10 W. heavy rain later thunder To SE on the outlook

Change of plan head closer down the coast easier to get home in the SE winds. Up anchor heavy sea coming through the heads. Motor out Emma taking photos of the seas crashing over the rocks on each side, hoist the jib when bang the Johnson 8hp longshaft crashes and changes tone. sh&one&t, look over its thrashing about under water still revving try to shut it down while holding on to it.No bother it dies. Lucky to have a rope on it .

Looking up we still pulling ahead away from danger. Some how I pulled motor and bracket back on board up main we going home. Oh the dog moves to the cockpit in the sun sprawled out asleep.

Nice sail down the coast about 3mt swell wind on the quarter. Ring home whats the tides for the harbour. winds etc to plan next move

We arrived at the entrance to Whangarei right on low water. There is a 13ml trip up the channel to get there wind NE 10. N at the city at the end. Start to sail up Heavy rain shower off Marsden point

with the tide pushing and 10kt wind the boat sailing along at 4kn un heard of for this old girl for the amount of wind. The dog sound sleeps still up fwd

Heavy shower stopped about 5mins later, stars out that was our storm. It took 6hrs to tack all the way up arriving at 2am sleep.

So concluded our trip 3 days but dam it was still fun the sail up just finished it off nicely

Lessons learnt (1) Dont assume your boat is bulletproof

(2) Electronic Autopilots suck alot more power than considered compared to the solar panel producing

(3) Handheld GPS can be hard to read at night, vessel thumping around the place, You realise your not so young after all. Things alittle blurry

(4) Weather forcast. thats out of my hands. Try to learn it myself

(5) Have 2 supplies of water my tank was tainted tasted real bad, Why I dont know I live on the boat so water turned over all the time. Thank you for the container in the corner of the

cockpit

(6)Eat regular meals at nomal times. We tended to graze as a result we didnt eat proper even over the 3 days it had a result

(7)I have a fibreglass boat the engine mounted on a timber mounting on the stern I didnt check this. The new one I have built is BULLETPROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(8) Dont assume that mop of fur farting and snoring on the front bunk is useless. It knows when you need a hug, PRICELESS!!!!

Has it put me off. No way yeah the plans changed, We went with the flow but. It was great we went out did it and come home safe and sound, I consider our thinking, our decisions were on track to the situations. Im back to work tommorrow, Planning and fixing my boat up. Unfinished buisness It will be a while but watch this space
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:19 PM   #2
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Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. Nice read.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing. It sounds like all of our little coastal jaunts--nothing ever is quite as you think it will be, is it? But, oh, it's still a bundle of fun
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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Don't you just love a quick sail down the coast!!!
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for writing your experience i am new to the forum but post like this are really helping to start journey on cruise and also on cruise forum.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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Thank You cruisers,

For myself I found that writing this it was like a positive critique on my own trip. Summing up, decisions, actions etc.

For myself now I have obtained a bible of local weather patterns, clouds etc. and studying alot. it was a cool trip. To Harry, read go and enjoy, a short trip analyse, fix the boat, and go again. Read the boating bibles cover to cover, on the toilet, before you sleep, let the knowledge in. It will be there when you need it. Above all be careful out there:icon
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:48 PM   #7
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Nice read, thanks. And very honest/self-critical too
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:03 PM   #8
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I loved your post, and hope you continue to sail and to tell us about it. We learn from people's successes as well as their mishaps and mistakes. Our first year out it seemed that all I wrote about was my anxiety and mistakes, but looking back on those days now, I'm glad I recorded it and even more happy that we persevered.

May you and your family be as fortunate as we have been in our cruising.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Festina' date='11 May 2010 - 09:36 AM View Post

Thank You cruisers,

For myself I found that writing this it was like a positive critique on my own trip. Summing up, decisions, actions etc.

For myself now I have obtained a bible of local weather patterns, clouds etc. and studying alot. it was a cool trip. To Harry, read go and enjoy, a short trip analyse, fix the boat, and go again. Read the boating bibles cover to cover, on the toilet, before you sleep, let the knowledge in. It will be there when you need it. Above all be careful out there:icon
... and the fun part is that you think you have read it all and out there things are again different and new. This is, what sailing makes so unique! At the end of the day or the cruise you have gained so many new experiences you could not even think of before you started. And this is still the case after many, many years of sailing.*

Uwe

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