Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cyclone Cook Approaches

Well, at least the remnants of what is Cyclone Cook! After hammering Vanuatu and New Caledonia, the cyclone hit the colder waters but is still heading towards NZ. We remain out at Great Barrier Island in what we hope will remain a protected anchorage. The major part f the storm should hit us on Thursday (early afternoon) – and hopefully pass through quickly. It all depends exactly where it hits land in NZ. As of this writing it's course takes it over the Coromandal Peninsula and across the country to the south. If it goes anymore west, we are in the eye. Predicted winds are 70 knots with higher gusts. Not pretty. We put out a second anchor yesterday in a lull of wind and rain. We have plenty of fuel to keep the engine running should we need it to take pressure off the anchors. It at least is moving a bit faster than originally predicted. We thought it would pass over us in the dead of the night – so at least the daylight is some consolation. We've been seeing lots and lots of rain already and 20 knots. The storm is supposed to pass with the winds clocking (so depending on what quadrant of the circulation we are in- will depend on what we get hit with. The storm didn't dissipate in the cold waters but they are saying it could be the worse cyclone to hit NZ since 1968 NZ has had so much rain in the last few weeks, flooding is predicted. That's the good news of being on a boat. It is Thursday morning so we have at least two more days of this mess. It's too bad because it's Easter weekend and normally a very busy time for the Island. Not sure many people will be crossing from Auckland or Whangarei to get out here in what is predicted to be six meter seas (20 plus feet). WE should be protected from any swell in here.

We have enjoyed our time out here up to the storm. We took two long hikes while anchored in Kaiarara Bay. The first, we went to at least seven bridges on the way towards the lower Kauri Dam. That was about a three and a half hour walk mostly uphill. The next day we decided to walk to the town of Port Fitzroy – it took a bit longer and was up and down along the shore. It was about an 8 mile trek – one of the longer ones we've done in awhile. We were pretty tired on the return. We were all disappointed because we had hoped the Port Fitzroy Boat Club would be open for a "cook's night off" - but it is closed on Monday and Tuesday. So we settled on ice cream bars from the general store (along with some bread, eggs and onions) and made the trek back. We met some interesting folks on the walk. They are from Hamilton, NZ and building a home on GBI. It is a nice piece of property with an incredible view and nice folks.

We left Kaiarara Bay and came back to Kiwiriki to sit out the predicted winds and rain. We should be pretty protected from the swells. Last night was calm but we awoke this morning to gusty winds in the low 20 knot range. We are sitting in a small inlet within the bay but it is pretty swirly in here. The boat faces one way and the wind hots us from a different direction. So we swing a lot. It will be a long few days - but we'll have full water tanks. The winds are predicted to get to 30-35...but we hope not!

We have gotten lots of small projects done while here – winches have all been cleaned, internal cleaning done and lots of baking to take the edge off the cooler evenings. We are enjoying the time out here. If only the internet was better and the storms were already over – it would be perfect!
At 4/7/2017 10:01 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 36°11.04'S 175°21.59'E

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