Even really bad weather can be fun

From John Welsford

Last Sunday was a shocker, it was the shortest day of the year here in the south and the weather forecasters were telling us to drive with care, to batten down the hatches and for any boat owners to check the security of their moorings.

One of those days!

I spent the day sitting cozily inside reading and stoking the fire, and was really surprised to get a phone call from Paul Groom to tell me about his afternoon out in his Pathfinder Varuna in company with Dave Perillo and Crew Marius in the Navigator Jaunty. While Paul was ringing to talk about sail trim and shape issues there was real excitement in his voice as he described a day what had looked so bad that he dared not check the weather forecast for fear that he would decide not to go out!

"Varuna & me, yesterday 20-30knots and hanging in there!"

It was a good sail, some in really heavy weather and some moderate stuff, I'd say that the smaller boat with a more experienced skipper and with the weight of two aboard had a slight edge but as Paul gets the hang of adjusting his rig and handling the boat the longer boat will get quicker and

Auckands inner Hauraki Gulf is quite shallow and has a chain of islands across it that screen the area from the ocean swells, although notorious for a short steep chop that can unsettle even big boats there are lots of sheltered bolt holes to head for if things get too bad. Its a great place for winter sailing, and its really good to see the two of them out and enjoying the rough stuff .

Dave has written a story from his point of view, check it out at


While you northern types are dreaming in the summer sun, have a look at this and count your blessings.

John Welsford.