Westward Ho: Day 2 – the luxury cruise

By Gareth Renowden 16/11/2013

What sacrifices, what deprivations we have to suffer to chase away the planet destroyers!

Woke to Mt Taranaki sharp against a clear sky. Breakfast in the sunshine on deck on a near flat sea after a night rocked to sleep by a gentle roll as we motored up the west coast from Wellington. Downside of so little wind was having to burn some fuel but it did give us time to get our sea legs. And the Ignoble Bob Douglas (did I tell you that is the name of the drilling ship? I added the Ig bit for truth enhancement) will be burning enormously more than we ever could.

Last night we picked up Niamh and James from Dunedin just off Mana Island. They had agreed at a few hours’ notice to join us on behalf of their generation, the twenty-somethings, and give us some age balance.They’ve been active in Oil-free Otago which will be the next recipient of Anadarko’s attention, in January – but 35 miles off their coast, compared with 120 miles off Raglan.They have the same concerns, the same issues as us – the potential for devastation of the coast, and the certainty of climate change if this crazy project goes ahead. So now we are seven.

Sipped excellent coffee (I said this is a luxury cruise) and watched a skua, several small albatross and huge flocks of maybe terns (that was the general consensus but none of us are ornithologists) wheeling and feeding as the water boiled with fish. Looking in vain, so far, for whales and dolphins. Tried to banish the mental image of them all spread out on the beach covered with oil.
This afternoon the wind picked up and we’ve had wonderful sailing at 6-7 knots past Cape Egmont and now veering out to sea. We haven’t even lost cell phone link with the mainland yet, but will soon. These sweet conditions may not last, but having been conditioned to expect storms and wet and cold I’m feeling very fortunate.

It feels very like the calm before the storm. We will sail all night and link up tomorrow with the other boats at “the spot marked x”. (You won’t find it on any map.) Then it’s anyone’s guess.