07 February 2014

Preparing For A Gale

After our fun times waiting out the weather in near gale force conditions up in Great Barrier Island, when we heard that Cyclone June was heading over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and a deep sub-tropical low was on its way, we decided to sit this particular storm out in the comfort of Westhaven Marina in Auckland. A gale force warning was in place with winds of 45 knots and gusts up to 65 knots forecast. And even though we were in a marina suitable for gale force conditions, Scott still took some precautions to make sure the boat was ready for what might hit her. Although our boat would have experienced similar conditions without any problems in the past when she was on the pile moorings at Westhaven, it is amazing how your perspective changes when you live on your boat. Suddenly, taking additional precautions seems like a really good idea.

The forecast was accurate and the winds did gust up in the 60’s. But although I had another sleepless night listening to the wind howling outside, the boat came through it just fine. If you’re not familiar with how wind is measured and what constitutes a gale, you can check out my version of the Beaufort scale on this post here. It is a nice shorthand way of talking about the weather and your corresponding level of fear.

Scott added on extra mooring lines to safely secure us and make sure that the wind didn’t push us into the dock. We had a total of seven lines tied on.

Scott thought about taking down the sails, but in the end decided to just lash down the mainsail with the main sheet and tied the headsail up tightly.

We don't care too much about our dinghy based on all the problems it has given us, but after losing the seat in the last storm in Great Barrier Island, Scott added on an extra line to make sure it was tightly secured to the deck. 

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  1. Glad to read you went back to Westhaven. Sounds like a wise choice. I always find weather seems so much louder on the boat, although we never slept through one with 60. (We are fair weather sailors and would be home in our beds.) We are not as brave as you two.

  2. I'm not sure how brave I am :-) I was very very happy to be back at Westhaven that's for sure


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