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Sailing home from cape reinga


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Hi, can anyone give us advice on sailing home to wellington via the west coast of the north island. We normally go east but it would be good to do a different passage. Any ideas on wind, tides, and swell for a weather window- currently in whangaroa.

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I’ve not done this trip personally but lots here have so I’m sure you’ll hear some of their wisdom shortly.

Meanwhile try doing a search on both marinetalk and cruisetalk forums and you’ll def pick up some good pointers.

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Did it 2019 in a Wharram cat. Just wait near the top for a reasonable forecast on windy or others and then go. We ended up motoring 2 days in calm to New Plymouth and then there was nw to go the rest of the way. New Plymouth is a good stop you can anchor in the harbour and stay aboard. Fuel and groceries are fairly close. 

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Cant say I have ever stopped at new Plymouth. Can you just anchor near the moorings and then leave your dingy by the ramp or by the yacht club? Are there moorings available to rent short term. I hate anchoring around mooring areas due to foul ground and old mooring gear,chains ect.

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We have phoned the Harbourmaster and asked him.  Last time we were able to pick up a huge mooring for a few days and they seemed to forget to charge us!

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Done this a few times.

If its a strong NW, go to the sounds or Wellington directly, NP is very rolly!  They laid lots of moorings for the Solo Tasman race boats when I did that, but iirc they removed them later. There is not a lot of space, but there is a very small  marina, and some moorings - ask the yacht club or harbormaster first. 

Cape Egmont is often where the wind changes on the way south, if it's been S or SW it often goes NW (prevailing wind in Cook Strait) from about there, and gives a great ride home.

IMO it's a safer route south than the E coast, esp to the S of East Cape. You don't want to be in a big southerly off the south Wairarapa coast. A real southerly will go SE thru Cook Strait - on the W coast you can bear away into the sounds and wait it out. Or even Nelson, and both will be out of the big seas that are on the other side in a S blow....

You will get quite a way offshore on a W coast trip, and you need to be set up and prepared to do it in one go. If the tides are wrong for Cook Strait, then you can wait on one of the Moorings at the S end inside Mana Island - they are close in to the rocks, but it's deep enough, and sheltered from the NW. 

That being said, I've done it in a Raven 26, Island Time (40 ft Farr) and a few deliveries up to 60 odd foot. It can be a great sail!

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