Past Puysegur Point

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 15 Feb 2021 23:15
Noon Position: 45 34.7 S 166 10.5 E
Course: N Speed: 7 knots
Wind: SSE, F7 Sea: rough Swell: S, 2 meters
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run: 135 nm

We have made it past Puysegur Point and, indeed, past West Point, the westernmost bit of New Zealand land. But, while the wind has backed into the SE as expected, conditions certainly have not gotten any more comfortable, though now they are at least better than they were last night, even if the seas are rougher. The problem for the weather on the west coast of NZ, particularly this SW corner, is that the alps give the wind nowhere to go except around Puysegur Point. So, whatever weather system is approaching the west coast, high or low, the isobars bunch up and funnel the wind at increased velocities either north or south around the coast. While immediately to the north and south of us the wind is likely a relatively pleasant 15 to 20 knots, here it is a steady 30 knots plus with steep seas to match, likely exacerbated by the southerly wind pushing over a south setting current. At least we are heading north quite quickly, so soon, I hope, the wind will ease a little.

On the plus side, we are making good time and these are ideal conditions for giving the windvane a vigorous workout. So far so good, but not wishing to put the mockers on this sometimes cantankerous piece of machinery (hmm, sounds a bit like someone I know) I will say no more about it until we are in a safe harbour.

Meanwhile, Oli eventually emerged from his hidey-hole last night at about the same time as I chose to try to get some bunk time. How he knew I was about to lie down I do not know, but he was waiting to curl up and share some body heat before my head had hit the pillow.

All is well.