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East or West Coast? Auckland to Wellington...

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Again pick your weather. The last time around (going north), we spent the day sailing north past Gisborne in the forecast 10 knot E winds and a lazy swell, a yak on the vhf with the ship that nicely gave us some room at East Cape at 0200, then the forecast 10 knot NE breeze to follow us as we came around and headed across the Bay of Plenty. So nice we even doodled into Cape Runaway and along the coast for a bit for a gander, then out to White Island for a look. Think it ended up 4 days from Tory Channel to Mercury Islands for a break. There is a sea god!

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Thanks Sabre

4 crew which meant 2 on watch if needed. Across the BOP we needed 2 at one stage with 25-30 knots on the quarter but only for about 6 hours. Waves sounded like trains. 6 days up (including Three Kings) and down, then 5 on the way up home but spent about 6 hours anchored at Hicks Bay for a sleep. Motored lots to keep in weather window so carried 200l of fuel. Easy rip with a gennaker run across Cook Strait.

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Hi All,


I intend to sail my 38' steel sloop from Auckland to Wellington where she will stay.


I have extensive with blue water sailing (eg, NZ - islands) but have not sailed to Wellington before.


What are the pros and cons of either the west coast (heading north first) or the east coast? Places to stop, if any? Is it best to hang out up north after Cape Reinga and wait for a good window? If going east coast, is there an issue with headwinds after East Cape? These are things I have heard, hence my request to this wider, well-informed forum.


Also, is there a preferred time to go? Ideally, I would do this in the next weeks, month or so.


If this has been discussed before please advise which threads.


I am also looking for a crew member - see my other post.





I have crew and almost ready to commit... East Coast leaving Sun Auck... bound for Wellington.

Windy.Com shows light-ish conditions til Sat/Sun when ex-Tex-TC appears depending on whether you trust EC or GFS model. Bob McDavitt considers EC more accurate...he also agrees Windy.com is the best but neither model very accurate beyond 5 days.



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We had a great passage on the EAST coast, 6 days Sun - Sat (17/2/19 - 23/2/19) with a stopover sleep and morning/afternoon break at Mahia Peninsula in Hawke Bay.The weather window was perfect, mostly sailing with northerlies although we had a fair bit of motoring but that is okay. We were very aware of the looming low on Sunday 24/2 which a week before had (incorrectly) been predicted to be an ex-cyclone, TC OMA. The northerlies were perfect. The Southerlies kicked in a few hours too early on morning of Saturday (3 am) approaching Cape Palliser so on the nose and even had to tack a few times! Then it pushed us into Wellington. Mostly uneventful but never before have I had seaweed foul a prop...twice! Once near Port Jackson on first night (a huge branch of the black stuff with bubbles on it) so pulled into there to sleep and swim down to remove in the morning. Second at Mahia Peninsula as approaching the narrow passage between main peninsula and the island on way to an anchorage to slow down a day to synch with southerlies. Thick dark green leather-like weed wrapped around prop hub. It lowered revs initially and slowed speed from 5 to 3 kn.


We used Windy predominantly but also Predictwind, when in phone range. I had two other crew.


I am glad we took the East coast but would recommend only if weather data is monitored and the window was favourable. I can see how southerlies after East Cape could be a problem (eg, Cape Turnagain is well-named).



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Nice.. that should keep you on a high for awhile!


There has been a lot of weed around since those big easterly swells week before last. I found myself weaving around the bigger clumps on my way back to Tauranga. Thanks for the update


Thanks for the insight on the availability of weed! Years sailing around Pacific Islands and around New Zealand waters...never once weed fouled my prop. It's a folding prop. And it's new (but has Propspeed). Maybe one of those rope cutter attachments would help. Or maybe a good few revs in reverse or a good wetsuit are in order.

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Three times in last two weeks between Barrier and Tauranga had weed foul prop. Never happened before. There was large clumps all over the place as result of big swells. Have folding 3 blade prop. Each time was able to clear by going to neutral to try to fold prop then hit reverse to the extent of making boat back up. Then back to forward. Each time prop cleared. This on sail drive. I think the weed folds around sail drive and you need to back up to remove it.

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Yep, but if a simple reverse fixes it it's most likely around the leg, not the prop. Backup first, its easier.

When the prop is properly fouled it can actually stop the engine!

Nylon lines can melt together, and be hard to remove. A good, proper rope cutting knife (I use a Gerber with special rope cutting serrations) is almost essential. In warm water, just a harness, mask fins and snorkel. Wetsuit if needed. Last time was a fishing platform and line, 1/2 way between Tahiti and Hawaii, in the middle of the night...

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