We have arrived in St. Helens after an eight hour and twenty minute passage from Waubs Bay, Bicheno.
We set up a watch system for this trip; I took the first three hours, Larissa the second three, and then we were both on deck for the bar crossing. The watch system worked well. Lachie came on deck shortly after our 0500 departure and chatted with me until Larissa came on deck. I set the autopilot shortly after clearing the bay and it guided us to within a mile of the bar way quite accurately despite not being calibrated properly yet. Going below for a doze was nice, not something I often get to do on a passage, and I was well rested when I came back on deck a few hours later.
We had spoken to the St. Helens Marine Rescue people a number of times by VHF. They sent out two chaps in their new launch, the Break’O’Day out to meet us and guide us over the bar and through the first series of markers to get us over the shallows at Pelican Point.
Something to note about VHF communications; having a remote microphone in the cockpit is a handy thing, because it means that although the extra mike has it’s volume up so the helmsman can hear it, the main unit volume can be turned right down so the off-watch isn’t disturbed. Very happy with our Standard Horizon unit for that feature alone.
I suspect we’ll be here for a while, it’s a great place to stop… More posts to come as our adventures here unfold.