Friday 28th May - Visit to Bob McDavitt at Metservice Office in Wellington on Wednesday, out to country north of Wellington on Thursday, catching up with a few boat jobs on Friday...
Was driven in by car to Wellington by Winlink sysop Graham R., ZL2ABN, to take up invitation to visit Bob McDavitt at NZ Metservice Office - high up, with a great view over the bay and city, in a lovely old park area, close to the Observatory telescopes. Spent an enjoyable time with good-humoured Bob (whose official job title is 'Weather Ambassador'!), being introduced to everyone in the different sections at the Metservice Office and discussing weather possibilities with him for my passage from here to Hawaii. Caught fascinating old cable-car from top station for steep ride down to Lambton Quay in Wellington city at foot of hill and then walked on to station to catch train out to Paremata, near to Mana. Collected by Mana C.C. member John to be taken to club members Paul & Jayne's place for dinner & an enjoyable evening.
Taken out to Masterton next day, again by car, to visit Graham's mother - stopping on the way for me to buy a Tiki in green stone, to replace one I'd lost when my old boat was lost. Scenery en route was beautiful - a really well worthwhile trip up the Hutt River valley and on over the steep hill beyond. G's mother was full of interesting recollections of old times in N.Z.
Good news on my return came in an email from Bob McDavitt saying that it looked as though Monday was a distinct possibility for me to transit the Cook Strait safely & to sail away from N.Z. towards Hawaii - to be confirmed on Sunday... So I'm getting boat ready with that in mind. Spent a very pleasant, highly sociable evening with Club members at their regular weekly Thursday get-together - Mana Cruising Club has been an excellent place to stop at while awaiting my weather window - I've been made very welcome by so many members who have also been really interested both in my boat and my travels.
This weekend will be spent making sure I'm all set for Monday - Customs have already been informed of possible Clearance needed - they literally wave people off when paperwork has been completed to make sure they leave the country to 'go foreign' as soon as they've been checked out. Strong S winds over Sat/Sun are expected to die down by Monday and turn north over the day... Fingers crossed...!!
Well, I later saw this, and began to wonder if I would actually be able to leave when I'd hoped to.... Bear in mind, I need northerly wind for the 12 hr passage down south through the Cook Strait before getting away from the NZ coast....
Issued by MetService at: 4:00pm 28 May 2010
Valid to: 12:00am 30 May 2010
*** STORM WARNING IN FORCE ***
Southerly 35 knots easing to 25 knots for a time tonight and in the morning, then rising to 50 knots Saturday evening. Sea becoming high. Southerly swell 4 metres easing. Poor visibility in rain.
Outlook following 3 days: Southerly 50 knots with high sea, easing Sunday night to 40 knots, early Monday to 30 knots and late Monday southeast 15 knots. Moderate southerly swell easing Monday