Last weekend 10 Wellington Ocean Sports students took on some pretty strong winds down in the Marlborough Sounds and completed the Cruising Skipper course. The course commenced at 2.00pm on Friday at the Waikawa Bay marina where the two compass charters yachts were prepared for departure.
The first leg of the course took the two boats to Lochmara Bay where a sheltered mooring was located for the night. Despite gusts of over 50 knots being experienced about the Sounds Lochmara Bay proved to be a very suitable anchorage.
On the Saturday conditions had worsened with gusts of over 60 knots recorded and rain squalls. Despite this the boats made there way to Endeavour inlet via Spenser Bay, utilising the motor sailing techneque normally reserved for windless days.
Once in Endeavour Inlet we took a look at Punga Cove, before deciding it was a bit exposed and proceeding on to Furneaux Lodge for the night. After dinner aboard most course participants made their way to the Lodge to watch the great All Black victory over Argentina before returning to the boats.
On Sunday the weather had fined up a bit, but was still very windy with constant gusts over 40 knots. This made for some exciting downwind sailing as the boats made their way back to Waikawa Bay.
Although the conditions were pretty full on and did effect some of the anchoring exercises that were planned, it was a true test for the students and prepared them well for some of the conditions that can be encountered when "skippering a cruising boat"
Our next Cruising Skipper course commences on 23 November at there are still plenty of places availble for booking.