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.