Checking Out From Tutukaka

The Adventures of the Good Ship Equinox
Cate and Chris Galloway
Wed 30 Mar 2011 20:55
Position at 1500 NZDT: 35.36.6612S 174.31.7190E

Arrived Tutukaka this afternoon after a very unpleasant three hour run around from Whangarei Heads. This was caused by the massive swell which ex-cyclone Buna generated some 250 - 300nm to the east of New Zealand. The result was a 4m+ swell which made for a very lumpy trip up the coast. Unfortunately the 20knot SE breeze which was forecast had faded some 6 hours earlier than anticipated ("that wasn't in the forecast") and so we were unable to use the wind in the sails to heel the boat over stop the world from bouncing around quite so much.

Getting into the bay at Tutukaka was a bit of a challenge too. The huge swell became considerably shorter and steeper before breaking on the jagged rocks either side of the entrance - the tons and tons of water swirling in and out around them made holding a proper course as we motored through the rough and narrow passage was also quite frightening. The look on Grace's face as she awoke from her slumber in the cockpit in the middle of the maelstrom was - priceless....

As luck would have it, we ended up back on berth E22 in the marina, which was exactly the same berth we had on our way south last year. Not much has changed in Tutukaka town since we were last here, except that NZ's oldest haemophiliac has passed away. Having a chat with the marina manager it seems that besides having hep C and needing a hip replacement, he also had cancer pretty much everywhere. He was in his late 50's.

The plan for tomorrow is to get some school done this morning and then use the freshening SW breeze to make the 4 hour sail back up to Whangamumu Harbour, then into Opua Marina Friday.

Until tomorrow,