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

Dagg Sound – Three Times! (7 February)

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!

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