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Waka's Leg 3 report

05 Mar 2008

After a fantastic stay in wellington with a slightly heavy head from thursday night we headed north into a forecast with plenty of wind and swell. Our plan was to hold everything together as we beat into the wind out of wellington and around cape palliser before hoisting a kite and legging it to napier. Not an ideal leg for us but ok.

However we got to evans bay just after the start to have all our electronics shut down. The batteries had been on charge but do not seem to have held any. So we headed back to the marina to get the 3rd battery which had been removed after the west coast leg. So we followed the fleet out of wellington harbour by 40 or so minutes.

Despite a lumpy wind against tide swell beating into 25 to 35 knots of wind we managed to pull back a chunk of the fleet by the time we reached cape palliser at 3 am. Unfortunately the kite ride never happened. The whole way up the coast the wind moved forward every time we could bear away.

With a 2 metre swell or more waka was seriously wet and bouncing all over the show. We bailed a bucket or more of water every hour. Everything got wet. We managed sleep on the cabin floor (although we stayed in our Gill Key West gear for the whole trip) with the bean bag and lived on EAS shakes after the igniter for the stove got wet ruling out freeze dried.

The conditions could have been much worse and the leg was a good reminder of how uncomfortable that would be on waka. Our result will be a bit sad as given the angle after palliser we had few tactical options and had to live with only 28 feet of length upwind which makes it hard to sail to a handicap similar to a 40 footer.

In the meantime we are enjoying napier and trying to dry out. Hopefully there will be phone coverage for the next leg starting friday and conditions which mean it is safe to take the phone out of the dry bag. In the cabin at least.

Josh hopes to write a detailed report with photos and video for tomorrow.