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Old 28-02-2016, 07:52   #1
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Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

A passage not with out incident...

Departed Tauranga on the morning of 9th January and spent the next week or more trying to get below a massive high. By the end of the 15th day we had already motored for 64 hours and were down to 46* south.
The problem is that the 'high' that has forced you south can retreat to the north much faster than you can sail and will leave you at the mercy of the deep depressions far far further south.

So... having been becalmed in about 46*S, 144*W on the 18th day the wind then came away from the West at 40 knots and the sea rapidly built to quite remarkable proportions.

On the 21st day we had a very heavy confused swell...westerly with a bit of southwesterly on top of it. That was when as she was coming down the face of one she was taken unawares by a breaking sea on the starboard quarter and took a sheer to starboard at 17 knots, the self steerer tried to take her to port and the auxiluary rudder went west...
When this happened we were already up to 44*50'S which was pretty much our latitude for the next ten days. Conditions the next day were settled enough to top the fuel tank from 6 x 20 litre 'bidones' lashed on the side deck.
There was only one more weather event when in about 45*S, 119*W a low dropped down through the 'rathole' and appeared behind us... presenting us with 40 knot northerlies and a nasty short steep sea. Not feeling inclined to go to windward and not wanting to follow it south we simply lay ahull under bare poles for 12 hours until the front came through and once again we were sailing in moderate SWlys.
From the 22nd day onwards winds from between SW and NW at 20 to 30 knots were the order of the day but we were still unable to get further north than 43*S until we were in 90*W as no decent wind was on offer above the 1020 isobar.
In fact it was only when we reached 82*W that we finally got above 42*S and then quite a bit of motoring was involved from there to Canal Chacao.

Some notes...
The 'Rathole' is what I now call the gap which often lies between the eastern and western South Pacific high pressure zones. Lows have a tendency to form in this gap and intensify as they head of to the south east to join their big mates down south.....
One the previous trip (2004) we had a similar experience in a similar area... a low appeared NE of us and gave us Easterlies at 40 knots...

The ebb tide at Canal Chacao can still be felt out at the pilot boarding ground, we had 4 knots of ebb with all the wind over tide unpleasantness just west of the boarding ground.

In summer Isla Chiloe lies between the prevailing southerlies that blow along the north and the northwesterlies that Patagonia experiences.... as the high moves north and south so you can get southerlies, northerlies or calm along this part of the coast.

Some stats.... 2004 crossing in brackets..., departed Tauranga 10th January 2004, this crossing departed Tauranga 9th January.
Total Distance 5289 miles (5266 miles), Passage Time 43 days 22 hours ( 44 days 10 hours), Engine Hours 121 (106)
In 2004 we entered via Boca de Guafo as there was no wind further north.

Photo taken in 44*23S, 100*W... typical conditions for 40 of the 44 days..
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Old 28-02-2016, 09:49   #2
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Thanks for posting and keep us informed.

Cheers,
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Old 28-02-2016, 11:23   #3
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Boy, Ping, that's a looong passage! And a long time hand steering! You guys did great!

A
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Old 28-02-2016, 11:30   #4
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
......And a long time hand steering!

A
Esp when the aux rudder breaks off, the 3rd hand looks out the hatch...sees no sky just a rather big bit of ocean with a fringe on top...goes catatonic (sp) then tells you he has a history of clinical depression, he has no meds and then retires to his bunk for 24 hours leaving the other two of us to work 2 hours about until the weather moderated..... and when he did emerge showed that he couldn't steer for poo and continually called the other crew 30 minutes early for her watch.....

Apart from that it was a good trip.
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Old 29-02-2016, 11:00   #5
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Very interesting post! How did your Sealord fare? If I recall, you mentioned you did a major refit awhile ago. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:05   #6
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Well done and thanks for the detailed voyage report. Hand steering for that length of time shorthanded is my worst nightmare. Do you have a replacement rudder lined up? Was it the scanmar Autohelm? Or perhaps you are considering a different type of steering gear?
We hope to catch up with your 2nd in April on our way north
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:59   #7
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Gday Wayne, it was my custom built 'Ini-vane', it 'barn-doored' at 17 knots and I'm rather glad that it broke and that it didn't take the transom out of the boat..... I fear it was a slight issue with the damping system that allowed it to apply too much helm.
No probs getting a new one fabricated here sometime down the line.... in the meantime I have a brand new repair list to start working my way through... nothing major... running maintenance.

Rognvald... yes.. the purpose of the trip to NZ....26 months and 15000 miles ...was to get the osmosis sorted, also renewed treadmaster, some pretty major structural work inside, and dropped the keel, replacing all 13 keel bolts, and blasting and epoxying it etc.
Also beefed up the the chainplate 'deck staples ' to 16mm diam and strengthened the babystay attachment to the rest of the boat... both known areas of weakness in Sealords.

She is 30 years old this year so it was her 'half life' overhaul.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:42   #8
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

EL P.

Nice work Was following you on sailwx. sounds like quite the trip.

Hope your enjoying the steak and red wine!

Baz
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Old 02-03-2016, 17:05   #9
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Gday Baz, yep ..heavily into the Carmenere and Lomo Liso...and big fat palta sandwiches for almuerzo....

Some photos before or after of the aux rudder..... it took some considerable force but I guess 'barndooring' it at +17 knots was sufficient.... glad it was the weak link and not the transom

Laminated ply... 2 inches thick.. parted at the lower pintle/gudgeon bit...
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Old 02-03-2016, 18:02   #10
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

As someone recently told me - you sure to know how to have a good time!

Glad it all turned out OK and you have a few maintenace items to take care of instead of wondering what to do with your spare time .
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Old 02-03-2016, 18:35   #11
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

I've never had the problem of wondering what to do in my spare time when in Chile😎


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Old 01-07-2016, 10:17   #12
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Wow respect
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Old 01-07-2016, 18:04   #13
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Hey El P,

Somehow missed this thread when it appeared. As usual, good reporting and good seamanship. Well done!

The photos of your rudder were highly reminiscent of when we broke the home built/designed aux rudder on I-one. That one was four layers of 3/4 inch marine ply with light glass over... and it broke just like yours did at the lower gudgeon. We were only a few days from landfall and also had a functional a/p after the storm abated (and the mast fell down).

Cheers,

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Old 01-07-2016, 18:07   #14
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Rudders fall off, masts fall down, all part of the laid back cruising lifestyle we read about in the magazines way back when.....
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Old 01-07-2016, 19:15   #15
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Re: Passage Notes, NZ-Chile

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Rudders fall off, masts fall down, all part of the laid back cruising lifestyle we read about in the magazines way back when.....
Well said. What with modern air sea rescue, radios, epirb's, hull insurance etc, you might think you could make it with your own skills.
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