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Expedition Coppelia Leg 3 RNI 2014 report

20 Feb 2014

Leg 3 "on the wind ".

P2161270Working the Worser Bay shore, not long after the start

We left Wellington on a truly stunning day. The beaches were packed and boats were out all over the harbor enjoying the light winds and sun. We started under code zero in a light southerly, then changed to the #1 as we tacked up the Worser bay shore to leave the harbor. The first night out was calm, maybe too calm and the fleet worked it's way through a series of giant holes. We had our ups and downs, finally cutting close to Cape Palliser and after what seemed like forever rolling round broke through into the north easterly.

 P2161278

Leaving the Cook Strait, looking at the South Island

Day 2 leg 3 was just a big day of on the wind, sorry no photos as I was unsure where the camera was. We changed down through the jibs, then the reefs to plough on as best we could under double reefed main and #3. Things were OK onboard, we have been through this before, but the day seemed to last forever, and mainly due to both being up the night before, each of my sleeps were fleeting. The wind dropped about 10pm, and we started back through the headsails.

Day 3 was a very different story, lighter winds, warm breeze, time to dry out. We spent the day trying to place ourselves in front of the fleet we had behind us, but without getting into the light airs near the coast. Rob was concerned about the wind dyeing all together and us once again wallowing in the between the  Cape Kidnappers and finish. His concerns are were not unfounded as we reach Kidnappers the wind started to evaporate.

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Cape Kidnappers in the last of the breeze

It was game on, to keep our good placing, but also to maintain our sanity, we needed to finish ASAP. We studied the internet for weather observations, we scoured the horizon for breeze, we smelt the air for signs of a land breeze. And then it came the strong scent of the Ravesdown fertilizer factory and we knew we would make it.

P2181288Rob looks for breeze on a very calm night.

Finally, we ghosted past the Town reef and into the finish, stopping the clock at 12:38 . We rafted up in front of the club and shared a bubbly with Neil and Trish who had been on watch all night waiting for us. We all thought for those poor souls who remained in the Bay waiting for the tide to ease and allow them a chance to finish.

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