2020 Tas Awaiting a Gale in Kings Cove
Awaiting a gale in Kings Cove
As we turned the corner past Kings Point we spotted a nice meaty looking buoy with a substantial mooring line attached, so we attached ourselves to it and Nichola came alongside for a brief few hours of fun before the arrival of the storm. Tucked up in this cove protected us not only from the ensuing westerly wind but also meant we would not be subject to the long fetch of weather as it sped across the harbour to the eastern side.
Bron had been busy baking scones on the passage down Bathurst Channel to the cove and we were able to provide the strawberry jam I had made with Martina in Newcastle, so our games evening followed an English Cream Tea. The calm before the storm. Nichola moved away from us to anchor a short distance from the shore, but she started dragging in the night so I had a little shock for a second when I was checking on her the next morning and she wasn’t in the same spot. Just a little nearer to the shore.
As you can see on our barometer the Atmospheric Pressure dropped by a whopping 29mbs overnight, so a day on board was called for and Rob busied himself sorting out why one of the 12 volt charging sockets had given up the ghost; just look at that corrosion, Rob found the problem in a wire connector behind the control panel above the chart table and we traced the cause of the fault back to the seawater deluge Zoonie experienced on our way back to New Zealand from Fiji, if you remember, salt water never completely dries out!
Listening again to the excellent Tassie weather forecast we learned that a fifty knot wind was expected with a sea-state of 2 – 2.5 metres which added to the swell height of 3-4 metres would give a gut wrenching sea height of 6.5 to 7 metres, it must have been impressive out at Maatsuyker Island. We still had the wind generator working to keep the batteries charged but we were watching it like a new born and as soon as the charge reached 100% or the wind went above 30 knots it was turned off.
The wind would persist all day and into the night, the Roaring Forties were living up to their reputation and we were at latitude 43’21 south. We recorded 39 knots in our sheltered spot and just hoped the mooring was as substantial down to the sinker as it was on top. It was uncannily hot outside; was the north element of this wind coming from Aussie’s hot red centre, pushed onward by the Indian Ocean Dipole? I think so.
Ken told us via VHF that during the night his dinghy had been flipped over and the motor went underwater and he was washing it through and trying to get it re-started. I had total faith in his efforts, if anyone could achieve what he set out to do it was Ken.
By the following morning the blow had moved on eastwards over the island and Nichola came alongside for a chat, lunch, games and to formulate a plan for an afternoon exploration of the nearby beach; we were all feeling a little cooped up and needed some exercise.
For some reason I wore walking trainers and did not want to get them wet, I think I was hoping for a short hike but there were no obvious trails to follow, so Rob kindly carried me ashore. Instead of vast vistas there were lots of mini landscapes along the colourful shoreline. Looking up the little creeks, flowing with peaty brackish water, one could imagine we were witnessing the home of elves and goblins. Lush smooth green earth curved gently down to the sandy beach in places giving way to level rocky surfaces covered in mossy algae like weed with tiny white flowers.
Ken was shaping views with his hands and photographing them with his camera ready to turn them into personalised paintings back in his studio only to find his camera memory card was full and hadn’t saved them. Hopefully he will find some in Bron’s and my photos.
That evening, over supper, we planned a move the next day around to Clayton’s Corner anchorage with a view to a long dinghy excursion up the Melaleuca Inlet. Now the bad weather had passed so much seemed possible.