Monday, October 29, 2012

Tapana part 1

We have been anchored in Tapana now for 4 nights, with one brief foray down to another anchorage that proved to be untenable in the prevailing winds.

First - a little about our foray. We hauled up the anchor, drifted backwards a little, and then unfurled the jib, running downwind and out of the bay in a nice 10 knot breeze from the north east. A low was passing through the area and the prevailing south east trades had been replaced by gradually clocking winds which were forecast to swing into the west. The run down to Taunga Island was straightforward except for a charted reef over which we could probably pass (18 feet on the charts), but which we would rather not. We sighted the reef easily from the foredeck despite a grey sky that made it more difficult to see differences in water colour. It looks like some coral heads have grown on the reef since the chart was made as we saw a couple of patches of brown water over the more comforting green - light browns should definitely be avoided! We passed the reef a hundred meters off in deep water.

When we arrived at the point behind which the anchorage was located on the south east side of Taunga, it was clear that this was going to be a tricky place to enter. the entire anchorage was a shallow plane of sand with scattered coral heads. The wind was now about 12-15 knots from dead aft, so we rolled up most of the jib and finally furled it entirely, Rani steering us in under motor, while I directed us around the coral heads from the foredeck. Even with minimal power we were going too fast for comfort and as the water shoaled to only a meter below the keel, Rani made it clear that this was not a place she wanted to stay. We had one of our 'discussions', but in the end Rani's common sense won out and we hoisted a 2-reefed main and beat back up to our old anchorage at Tapana.

No comments: