Sailing around New Zealand

Emily is sailing solo around New Zealand on her 32 foot yacht Honey, from Lyttelton south down the east coast, around the bottom of Stewart Island, up the west coast of the South and North Islands and down the east coast back to Lyttelton. The whole adventure is expected to take 3 months. This blog will provide updates as I travel (when I have mobile reception to upload).

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Chalky Inlet (1-2 February)

It looked like it was going to be a good day to set off on the 2nd up to Dusky, so the focus was on making sure all was ready for the passage past West Cape where the forecasts often seemed to give winds of 10-20 knots more than other parts of Puysegur. First off I nosed off to the other end of North Port where the wreck “Stella” is lying, and pulled up some cod for lunch. Then it was back to the mooring where I filleted the cod the Stewart Island way, and cooked up a feed of fish and kumara chips – yum! I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on odd jobs on the boat, cleaning and tidying and making sure I was ready for the short but likely rough trip up to Dusky. And then the weather update came through with Northerly 25 knots, not a good forecast for a trip north so I resigned myself to spending the next few days in Chalky. This was the first day where I saw not a single other person or boat – Honey and I were the only ones in Chalky that day.

The next morning I decided to head down to the end of Cunaris Sound (one of the two sounds in Chalky) to have a look-see. It ended up being reasonable for sailing – gusty as it is within the fiords, one moment I'm puttering at 1-2 knots and then a gust arrives and I'm leaning over and ripping up to 7 knots. The gusts got me most of the way up the Sound, until the wind turned to be on the nose and I motored the rest of the way into Cliff Cove. There was a sheltered spot around the corner with a stern line to anchor up to and I dropped anchor and pulled back very close into the bank. A little too close for comfort as the wind turbine (which is now not working) and solar panel kept getting tangled in the bushes! I still had about 5m under the keel though – the fiords are very steep sided and generally that shape carried on under water. I left Honey for only a few minutes and took the dinghy into the tidal basin at Cliff Cove, getting swept in quickly and then needing to get out of the dinghy and pull it out. This looked over into Long Sound in Pressie, although I didn't try and find a portage through to the other side.

As I was coming into Cliff Cove I picked up the weather forecast and it was now variable winds for tomorrow – fantastic, my opportunity to get up to Dusky! So I decided not to stay there long (and also because I was a little concerned Honey would end up really tangled in the bushes. I headed back to North Port so I could get underway early the next morning and shoot up to Dusky.

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