14.12.06 – Chatham Islands

We had a boisterous, cold trip out to the Chathams from Cook Strait. Strong, icy beam winds and steep seas. Much crashing and banging but the boat flew and it took us barely 3 days. Storm staysail did itself proud.

Kiangaroa

Kiangaroa

At the Chathams we stopped for respite at Kiangaroa, on the northern side of the main island. The first yacht they’d seen in a decade, Tainui was royally received. It is a tight little harbour, with considerable surge and exposed to the north. I wouldn’t recommend it unreservedly, although our visit was memorable. We spent a quirky night tied up at this run-down fishing port, population 78. Made me think of Cannery Row. After a big piss-up on board, we left the next day with frozen lambs and much goodwill. Hospitable, salt-of-the-earth folk in a bleak windy spot.

We’re pleased with our new loose-footed battenless main. Like a very big trysail, it’s easy to get up and down, removing one of my big concerns about the fully battened main we took to Macquarie Island last year.

Eventually the barometer will drop and cirrhus will foreshadow some favourable breeze, but in the meantime these constant headwinds call on our reserves of patience. Still, I can think of much worse places to be. 

 

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