A strong northerly blew up on the weekend, coinciding with an outgoing tide. That’s usually a recipe for some reasonably large waves at the entrance to Nelson harbour. There were very few boats out, people had obviously heard the weather forecast. There was a bit of entertainment for watchers on the hill, however.
A small yacht came in, obviously rigged for single-handed sailing. It was being handled very well and the skipper knew to keep well to the northern side of the entrance where the waves are a lot smaller. Unfortunately a painter broke and his dinghy came loose, heading off towards Tahunanui beach.
That gave the Sealord Rescue crew something to do. They picked it up well before it hit the beach and brought it in via the back door, avoiding the main entrance.
One brave (?) vessel did venture out under power, travelling about 300 m or so into the bay before returning. My wife (an excellent sailor in her time) had some rather scathing comments. “I’m sure the women are having a simply lovely time!” she said. (If you look hard you can see them, huddled up against the bulkhead). Not a lifejacket to be seen, in true macho (amateur) yachtie spirit.
Conditions change very rapidly, depending on the wind and the tide. There are some treacherous shallows which lead to breaking waves under the right conditions. Wave heights can reach 4 – 5 m. Over the years, we have seen several boats lost, with a few fatalities. I guess those Sunday sailors knew what they were doing?
(I was quite pleased with these, taken from my verandah with a 300mm f4 AF-S Nikon and a Tamron 1.4 TC on a sometimes misty morning.)