Hawk Bay to Monckton Inlet

We woke to fog and low visibility. We couldn’t even really see out from the anchorage into the channel. We didn’t have that far to go today, and despite the fact that the forecast was for increasing winds, we decided to hunker down for a while and see if the weather and visibility improved any.

Somehow those lazy mornings get away from you!  We had decided we were going to leave about 2pm to catch the most favorable currents, and so we watched the movie Ronin (with Robert De Niro and Jean Reno, from 1998)to pass the time.  Just as we were leaving, the Nordhavn Feisty Lady came into the anchorage.  We gave him a call on the radio to let him know we were leaving, so that he could drop his hook close to us and get the best spot.

Visibility was somewhat improved, but as soon as we stuck our nose out of Hawk Bay we kind of realized how Squally Channel got its name. The wind and waves were on the beam, so we modified our course more towards Campania Island to get a more comfortable ride. Definitely a hand-steer passage rather than autopilot! The 49 is a solid boat, though, and between the stabilizers and the weight of the boat, the ride wasn’t uncomfortable. Visibility was up and down, and as the visibility cleared, we could see signs that a front was passing. Once we turned up into Otter Passage and then Principe Channel, the wind and waves were more on the stern, and we surfed our way up to Monckton Inlet, which is near the south tip of Pitt Island. We kept a sharp eye out for whales, but were skunked. We did see the Norwegian Pearl pass by well ahead of us.  Visibility continued to be inconsistent. Principe Channel is 4 miles wide at the south end, and Banks Island (4 miles across the Channel) was often totally obscured during our trip.

There is a long entrance into Monckton Inlet, but it also provides protection from the weather. We took the anchorage behind Roy Island, a nice flat-bottomed bay with some interesting islets to look at. We got the anchor firmly set in 50’ of water, and spent the evening all alone in the anchorage, watching the boat dance around due to the winds.  Two episodes of The Good Wife, and a great time was had by all. Forecast for tomorrow? Rain.