My brother Travis was over from Western Australia and keen as to get out for a sail. Our initial plans for a big mission had to be postponed so we settled on short trip across to Coro.
We picked up Corvina and soon had her in the water rearing to go.
Sails up and heading in the right direction.
Travis hadn’t sailed for a number of years because in Geraldton WA its either blowing 150 knots or zero. When he was busy eating a bag of chips I gave him no instructions, left him with all the controls, tightened my life jacket and buggered off up the front to enjoy the action.
It must be like riding a bike because he was instantly at home on the helm.
I wanted to take Travis to Elephant cove to see if he remembered much about going there when we where little.
We trolled a lure past Tarahiki island as we made our way towards the destination. The breeze was perfect and we made good time with a comfortable beam reach all the way. The area had just had some big rainfalls which caused some road closures and flooding. The water was surprisingly clean but there was lots of floating debris. We had to keep an eye out for the larger logs to dodge but most of it was smaller sticks etc. Only the odd bump was heard.
Coming towards the cove I decided we should try towing the lure in close to the Black Rocks (just north of Elephant) We managed to catch lots of the sea weed drifting around amongst the debris.
We pulled around to the side of the cove to catch a snapper on the jig, only one keeper but that’ll do. Then into the cove to put the anchor down. About this time I started to get symptoms of a migraine with the eye thing happening, I used to have them terribly when I was a teenager.
We cooked up some hot soup and toast and assessed the weather. Unfortunately it wasn’t suitable for the night so we hatched a plan to head down towards Waimate or Whanganui and try get there before dark. Travis manned the helm as I sat feeling sorry for myself.
We settled on the northern side of Whanganui and arrived just before dark.
I was feeling like crap so did my only chore of setting up the anchor light and then climbed into my bunk with a bucket to prepare for the worst.
By about midnight I was feeling pretty good, managed to avoid having a full on migraine of the old days. The morning rolled around and it was a beautiful day and the crew where feeling great.
Breakfast time and a loose plan sorted, head south to find a beach of some sort.
We sailed southwards and found a good looking beach.
Dropped anchor and decided on the best way to access the beach. But first I had to put away the fishing line, turns out a fish was on! I battled as it dragged me around the boat until I was able to land it.
With the beast subdued we went back to figuring out how to get ashore.
- Option one – pump up the inflatable dinghy and row in
- Option two – Harden up and get wet
I put our gear into a waterproof bag, then threw it overboard. We were committed now.
I swam ashore while Travis waited to see if any sharks where hungry. When he was satisfied he soon followed.
We wandered up the hill and had a look around.
We swam back out dried off, Pulled anchor and started making way homeward.
The wind was coming directly from the ramp so we had to put in a few tacks but that was all good as we had tons of time and got to enjoy more sailing.
It started to get a bit rougher as we gout towards the middle.
So I gave Travis the tiller and I hid behind the spray dodger.
Kawakawa bay in sight as the day nears an end.
Travis went up on deck so I pulled the main in tight and leaned her over to try scare him. He wanted more!
We got about 3miles from the ramp and the wind practically died off.
We had managed to use only sails for almost the entire trip and really wanted to make it back under sail power. So I shook out the reef and changed to a bigger headsail. After a few minutes the breeze slowly increased and with our new configuration we where making very good progress once again.
The sun disappeared and the moon came up as we headed out to make our final tack south towards the ramp. What a blast it is sailing at night, I need to do this more.
Back at the ramp after a long and most excellent sail across the gulf.