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May 20, 2017

Day 18

What a day! After being banished from New Zealand we made our way to our permitted area in the Tasman Bay outside the territorial waters to wait out the storm that we had been avoiding most of the voyage.

On the way Gabe did a bit of fishing and caught three barracuda and two king fish. He had a bit of help from Dave with the subsequent dealings after landing which left a bit of blood and guts on the deck. As the youngest in the group Gabe was detailed to scrub and sluice down the suitably named poop deck.

Shortly after there was a shout of “Orca” as a pod of Killer Whales were seen close in on the starboard beam. Fliss put out an announcement on the tannoy which brought most of the crew up to the rail. Maybe it was the smell of blood in the water, maybe curiosity. Either way it was a fantastic sight.

As the night progressed the wind and sea picked up, Aft Port watch on 20:00 – 24:00 had winds gusting to 53 knots and the ship heeling sufficiently to ring the bell 23 times each one met with a resounding cheer. Waves were breaking hard on the port side sending water across the deck, even spraying the wheelhouse. Fortunately the sky was clear, it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t cold. At the change of watch the bosun’s mates were woken as well and the oncoming watch warned to wear waterproofs. Some of the permanent crew appeared too as we tacked the ship which involved furling and then unfurling on the other side the outer jib, main staysail and mizzen staysail all on a wet, heaving deck in a gale.

Once released from watch and heading to bed we reflected on the loudly voiced opinion from one of the watch members who wasn’t enjoying it quite as much as the rest of us. “You people are ******** crazy.”

Today while we are still stooging around in the bay when we came on watch it was so cold and windy some were going below to get more layers on. Heading due south making 0.5 knot looking at the scenery around us including the snow covered alps which is probably where the freezing wind is coming from. We just dodged a big rain storm that went behind us.

Now we have reversed course to NNE doing 6 knots under bare poles and the sun is bright and hot so people are starting to overheat but we are also heading back towards the rainstorm that we missed earlier. Kiwi band Crowded House had a hit with a song about NZ called ‘Four seasons in one day,’ we now know what they are talking about.

Aft Port Out

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