Friday, February 7, 2014

A Brief Sail North

Here I am headed North with a couple of friends. The motor blew up just as we approached the first exit through the new Whangarei lifting bridge. It was a case of aborting the mission there and then or continuing on with our brief holiday and taking my chances at being able to get in and out of anchorages and make passages without a motor. Small auxiliary diesel engines are very useful on small yachts as they enable you to get in and out of tricky harbour entrances and among anchorages when there are a lot of other yachts at anchor. Engines are also good when there is no wind and there is a set return date. I thought "Bugger this, if it was good enough for Abel Tasman, Captain Cook, Maori since circa 800AD and every other man and his dog to have tootled around these waters without the aid of an engine then I would take the chances of a skinny white man with a dodgy ticker and sail engineless".
I thought hard about the implications but knew that my experience and sailing skills would probably keep us safe, which they did. We had a fine old trip, be it short, but it contained some interesting situations that I had not be involved with before. More of that in the next post.


Ben said...

Yes, a yacht without an engine, that could be interesting nowadays. I am curious about the “interesting situations”. You spoiled the story more or less bij saying that you kept save.
Did you have a crew that could row the yacht with a sloop to its anchor place, or in periods of no wind, to make any progress. I am pretty sure that Cook and Tasman had these possibilities.

Alden Smith said...

I will tell about the interesting situations in the next post - I am so busy at school I am not finding much time for the blog or anything else at the moment - Teaching is pretty full on at the moment. I sailed the boat on and off anchorages but it was pretty tight in places where there were many yachts anchored. But Mariner sails well and responds instantly to the helm so although it was a challenge, with her help everything went well. In a hard chance we may have resorted to towing with the dinghy (but it would have had to have been very calm, no waves at all) but luckily there was always enough wind. I am sure both Cook and Tasman used their longboats to tow their ships, but it would have been easier for them I think as they had more than one longboat to use.