The Waiting Game- By Brian

The weather finally broke yesterday allowing us to launch the dinghy and venture ashore.  Five  days of 30-35 knot winds and nonstop rain had taken it’s toll but we held up well and avoided cabin fever by keeping ourselves occupied.  Watching movies, reading, cooking, more reading, more movies, some music, more cooking, and random boat projects helped us keep our sanity.

Now the weather has completely turned and instead of too much wind there’s not enough to sail.  There’s barely a ripple out there and what’s forecasted  is from the North.  Not ideal for a sail to Fiji…..  So we wait and discuss and then wait some more.  You can’t go anywhere without hearing dockside conversations about GRIB files and the Bob McDavitt forecast.  There are as many interpretations and opinions as sailors present.  The powerboats left today, merrily motoring along in calm conditions while us wind powered sailors wait and hope for more ideal conditions.

The question is how long do you wait?  Waiting too long risks getting caught by the next low moving East from Australia, which could be another week or longer delay.  Leaving too early means sailing upwind (yuck) or motoring (even more yuck).  So we haven’t decided yet.  We’re leaning towards leaving and sailing East for a few days to try and get around a lingering high that’s just North of New Zealand.  Nobody knows the answer so we’ll just see how the cards fall over the next day or so.

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Brady cooking with a dive mask to keep onions out of his eyes.

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Darren watching a movie on his laptop.

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Brady and Paul sorting out the fishing gear.

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Brian realizing his life long dream of creating a chilly bin  beach stereo!

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A chilly bin, motorcycle amp, battery, marine speakers, and IPod are all it took.  All purchased on trademe.co.nz by the way!

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The finished product!

I even had some time to write a little code and ended up working on an app that monitors our boat instruments.  It works over a Bluetooth network that reaches everywhere in the boat and let’s me watch the instruments from bed.  Especially nice for those nights where the wind is howling.  A nice jazz tune is played if the boat starts to drag.  It came in handy over the past few days except a few bugs kept on waking me up in the middle of the night with false alarms.

Program

By far the coolest feature however is the integrated watch timer.  Built especially for the un-alert watchman, this handy feature will run on the navigation system and beep incessantly until it’s acknowledged.  The idea is every 20 minutes someone should check the radar, AIS, scan the horizon, etc. while sailing.  So how do you keep your crew alert?  Well, if the watchman is alert and acknowledges the alarm in a reasonable time heshe is treated with a randomly selected image as shown below.  Hopefully this will incentivize the crew to keep a vigilant watch.

Watch Timer