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

Crossing Foveaux Strait (28 January)

The forecast for the crossing was NW15 knots, except NW25 knots west of the line from Puysegur Point to South West Cape. This meant that I was expecting head winds the whole way, but starting off considerably north of South West Cape I expected to be well east of the mystical line and in lighter weather. To my surprise (and delight) I had variable 10 knots of weather most of the way, it was light Southerly at first which meant a nice sail to start, then it died off and I needed to motor sail, and then with no wind and flapping sails I was just motoring. With the Solander Islands (two islands in the middle of Foveaux Strait) behind me and Fiordland popping up in front of me, I thought I looked on track to arrive a couple of hours early. And then the NW hit and it was a generous 25 knots and very quickly my speed was knocked down to 2.5-3 knots – at this rate I was going to be lucky to arrive before sunset! The next 4 to 5 hours were painstakingly slow and tedious as I looked out at the land to see if I was actually moving forward. It didn't feel like it but the GPS told me I was, just very slowly. Finally I could see Puysegur Point and gradually I inched towards it, and then finally rounded into Otago Retreat – the small and quite shallow passage between Puysegur Point and Coal Island. Weka Island where I was mooring up was directly ahead about 5 miles steam. An hour later I had negotiated myself in and tied up next to one of the fishing boats at the barge, and the fishermen introduced themselves and invited me over for a beer. After a couple of what felt like well deserved beers, some crayfish tails and the promise of cray-potting the following day, I went back to Honey, draped all the openings with sandfly netting (otherwise I was told I would be woken by our little dark friends) and curled up in bed.

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