A late start in Blanket Bay, and a yacht appeared to top up their water supplies, Tau Hana – this was the first yacht I had seen since Half Moon Bay in Stewart Island. They were a group of three who had sailed down from Auckland and were now sailing back stopping at some of the fiords on the way – we exchanged stories and they headed on their way, and I headed to Crooked Arm, the second arm in Doubtful Sound heading south from the main sound. The wind started to pick up and it was a nice sail into the start of Crooked Arm, passing first one of the passenger ferries and then another yacht – Pacific Flyer. The second yacht I had seen since Stewart Island, I waved madly as they motored in the opposite direction. The wind died out half way down Crooked Arm and I motored the rest – it is a long arm, about 8 miles, and then cautiously approached Haulashore Cove at the end where there are mud banks that rise up rapidly. Many a yacht have been caught on these with the keel bedded in deep but the stern well out. I dropped anchor, had lunch and then headed out on a walk from the cove into the head of Dagg Sound, thinking that I may quite likely not get to sail in there.
The walk was about 45 minutes long each way, a really nice well marked track for half the way and then a very large slip had come through several years ago (the slip must have been close on 0.25 mile wide), and this was covered in grasses with biddy-bids, before too long I was covered and struggling to pick my way. I made it down to Dagg, with the voracious sandflies I didn't stay too long and picked my way back to the start of the well marked track when I noticed the spot tracker was no longer secured to my pack. Oh no, how would I ever find it in those long grasses! I retraced my steps and realised it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, so I made my way quickly back to Honey to make a call on the sat phone and retrieve the GPS coordinate so I could locate it. Back on Honey, I rang the Sounds and Di answered and quickly got the coordinates and was a little confused as to why it was transmitting when I didn't have it – whew, I now knew where it was. Retracing my steps it was close to the Dagg Sound end where it had fallen off, so I retrieved it and back again to Honey. That was two trips along the track and I was satisfied I had seen Dagg Sound. No sooner had I got back onto Honey when I heard Aries and Sanvaro talking clearly on the VHF – I knew they were close and they weren't in Crooked Arm. As it turned out they were at the head of Dagg Sound and invited me for dinner – a third walk for me to Dagg Sound. I arrived at the Dagg Sound end where I was literally swarmed my sandflies. I was picked up in Sanvaro and we motored at speed for a few minutes until the cloud of sandflies were blown away and we tied up to Aries. A lovely meal awaited – cod sushi, paua slices, paua patties and then a full pork dinner with all the trimmings, then baileys to celebrate Rosco's birthday. With it pitch dark by the time the mains arrived, I was invited to stay the night which I decided was a far better idea than spending the night somewhere lost on that track among the biddy-bids and the sandflies!