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

Skyscraper Mountains – Doubtful Sound (6 February)

t was a beautiful morning for a sail up to Doubtful Sound. I untied from the barge soon after 8am and had the sails up before I headed out of Breaksea Sound. There wasn't much wind, not even 10 knots but I was doing 5 knots so must have had the tide helping me along. I passed Coal Bay and thought about starting the motor as my speed had dropped considerably, and then the wind picked up. Before long I had a lovely sail to Doubtful at about 6 or 7 knots – reefing in gradually as the wind picked up to 25-30 knots so that the autohelm could still handle it when I needed to take a break or check the charts. I rounded Hares Ears into Doubtful Sound soon after midday so it was a quick trip up, and then motored in to Blanket Bay at the southern end of Secretary Island. Blanket Bay is an interesting spot - there is the “Blanket Bay Motel”, a spot used by fishermen to store their fish and a place where someone used to live for a few months of the year so there was even a cafe there at one point. Now the building is still there, a water supply and a load of wekas, plus a large waterfall across the bay – this is where I moored for the night.

Doubtful Sound is dramatic with its very steep shear cliffs and moutains. Sailing through, I find myself constantly craning my neck to view the peaks rising high above from only 100m or so from the path that Honey and I are taking. It is really quite spectacular. It is also quite a lot more commercial than Dusky or the other sounds I have been to so far – quite a number of charter boats, luxury gin palaces and even a few other yachts that stop by to get fuel before they carry on north or south.

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