Sometimes Scott neglects to mention certain things to me. Usually his "memory lapses" have to do with eating up all of the cookies and leaving an empty bag for me to find. But sometimes he "forgets" to tell me things because he is a bit worried about what my reaction will be. Like the time our boat got up to 8.8 knots on our way from Urquhart's Bay to Whangamumu. 8.8 knots might not sound like any big deal to you folks with bigger boats, but for a 26' Raven it is pretty darn fast. And it was new record for us on Rainbow's End. When we compared notes with some friends who also used to own and race a Raven 26, they said they also got their boat up that fast, but they were racing, not cruising like us - so, yes, it was fast!
While normally that might be something Scott would sing and shout about, he neglected to tell me about it for a good hour or so. And it is probably a good thing he waited a while to tell me, as it would of freaked me out at the time. Because in order for our boat to get up to 8.8 knots, you generally need a very, very large wave directly behind you which causes your boat to "surf" along. While some people go out surfing using boards on the beach and consider it to be a fun day's outing, surfing in a sailboat isn't always a good thing. Especially when you combine a big wave with a small boat and add in a nervous Nelly (that would be me).
At the time this bit of drama happened I was down below with the washboards up to keep the water out of the cabin. This will give you and idea of the "frisky" conditions we were in. Although "frisky" might be an understatement as Scott actually used the word "intense" later when he finally told me about how fast we were going. I probably should have had a clue that something was going on as I saw this huge wave crash against the windows. For a moment I wondered to myself, "Is this a tsunami?", but then I quickly got distracted as I went to get a cookie, only to find an empty bag. It is very upsetting to find an empty cookie bag when you have your heart set on some chocolaty goodness and the utter disappointment you feel can make you forget all about possible tsunamis. Or maybe that's just me.
About an hour later, when I had come up for some air, as well as to give Scott grief about eating up all of the cookies, the skipper casually mentioned that we hit a new record of 8.8 knots. I think he felt a bit conflicted - part of him was thrilled that we got the boat going so fast and wanted to tell someone about it and another part of him was concerned that I would ask too many questions like, "Golly, how in the world did we ever get the boat going so fast?" and then freak out once he explained the laws of physics as they relate to boats and water. Unfortunately for him, I did ask a few questions and he told me about the big wave which totally explained what I briefly thought was a tsunami.
Moral of the story...if you're going to neglect to tell your wife things and then change your mind and tell her something that might freak her out a bit, it is always better to do so with a full bag of chocolate chip cookies in hand. Chocolate has a way of making any situation better.
Anyway, here is the rest of the boring detail. Really not worth reading (unless you are interested in sausages), but we do need to write these things down so we can look back and remember what happened later.
Friday, 28 February 2014
We left Whangarei Town Basin marina later in the day, around 3:30 pm, once the tides were in our favor to navigate the very shallow channel. We had an uneventful sail and anchored in Urquhart's Bay around 7:30 pm. Although the winds were predicted to be coming from the southwest, we really didn't have too much choice in terms of where we could anchor for the night, so we snugged in as close as we could to get some protection from the wind. Because we had just been in a town with a grocery store and could buy meat to eat that night (we don't have a fridge), we had a "carnivore" dinner of sausages served Kiwi style. Kiwi style basically means you stick a sausage inside a slice of bread, rather than a hotdog bun. Using bread is really a very clever idea. I've always found that they usually sell six hotdogs or sausages in a pack and eight hot dog bus in a pack and you always end up with extra, useless hot dog buns. But if you put your sausages in a slice of bread you can always find a use for the rest of the loaf of bread the next day. Toast for example. Who doesn't like toast.
Saturday, 1 March 2014
This was the day of the tsunami-like, freakishly big wave that got our wee boat up to 8.8 knots. Scott was a real trooper and basically helmed the entire day. We left Urquhart's Bay around 8:45 am and anchored in Whangamumu around 6:15 pm. It was a real pain getting out of Marsden Point - there is a very strong current there, we had a swell of over 1.5 meters and the sea was very lumpy and it took a heck of a long time just to get out of there. Overall, Scott described the day as a "good sail, but intense at times."
Whangamumu is a very well protected bay and a good stopover point on the way up to the Bay of Islands. There is an old whaling station and walking tracks there, but as it was just an overnight stop for us, we didn't get a chance to explore. Maybe next time!
Total nautical miles = 61
Top speed = 8.8 knots
Number of sausages consumed = 6
|Chart sourced from LINZ. Crown Copyright reserved.|