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

The Doldrums of Stewart Island (27 January)

The day started bright and sunny with no wind, quite a contrast from the weather forecast. I needed to leave early in the morning to make it to Preservation Inlet (Pressie), and as I hadn't expected it to be good weather for the crossing of Foveaux Strait I wasn't up as early as I needed to be. I decided instead to push onto Easy Harbour on the West Coast of Stewart Island which would make the push to Pressie the next day a little less. With the tides around South West Cape now being against me, I spent the morning relaxing, getting ready and taking a look around Broad Bay, having a swim and a fresh shower. If I left at 2pm, I figured the tides would be slack and then heading with me. I left at 2 and wondered what South West Cape and Puysegur would have in store for me. Rounding South Cape (the furthest south I would sail, or motor as I needed to with the very little wind) I could see South West Cape in sight. But then it was gone and less than 5 minutes later so was everything within about 50 metres of Honey – Puysegur had thrown light winds and thick sea fog at me! I was now motoring with the aid of the radar and had rounded South West Cape, and then the fog lifted and I had a lovely view of the cape and the passage I was passing through between Stewart Island and Big South Cape Island. I had my sails up and was motoring, but the sails were lifeless and flapping so I pulled them down and motored through at 7 or 8 knots with a generous 2 knots of current pushing me along. It was seriously hot with no wind (I was in t-shirt and shorts, which made a nice change from the wet weather gear). Making such good progress I decided to carry on to Ernest Island in Mason Bay, this should cut off at least an hour from the following days trip. It was in an out of fog and I moored up at about 8pm in Mason Bay ready for the Foveaux crossing the next day.

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