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).

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Boat maintenance in the Kenepuru (11-13 March)

It was another warm and sunny day in the Sounds, and we had a nice relaxed start on Treasure, leaving her to head into the Kenepuru and back to Honey early in the afternoon. I was lucky to have Tim there, and we spent a full day on Tuesday working on Honey. We serviced the engine, replacing the oil in both the engine and the gearbox, and replacing the fuel filters. The set up with Honey's engine makes her quite difficult to bleed, but we got the engine fired up and running well while she was tied up on the floater and I gave her a quick turn around the bay to check all was well. We reconnected the head of the autohelm unit and connected the new battery. I had lost the sleeve that went between the wind turbine and the post it sits on when I had removed the turbine a few days previously. With the very low spring tide, I got lucky in finding it on the sea bed and we reinstalled and wired in the wind turbine (being unable to test it as it was hot and sunny with absolutely no wind). Tim jumped into the water and checked out the prop and shaft and was quite comfortable that not too much damage had been done with my mooring-line-around-the-prop incident. Having looked over the engine, he also felt that there was a reasonable chance that the gearbox seal would hold out if I wanted to continue with my circuit around the North Island.

Servicing Honey on the floater
I hadn't given up hope completely that I would complete a sail of the whole of New Zealand before I came back to Lyttelton. If I did continue and sail around the North Island, it would take 6 weeks, if the good weather held up. And if the weather turned, it may be well into May before I arrived back. I had planned to be back in Lyttelton by the end of March/beginning of April. With time running short, and with the days drawing in (the wonderful highs we have been enjoying would likely move further north as winter approaches so I may face more unsettled weather), I made the call that I would return to Lyttelton, spending a couple of weeks around the Marlborough Sounds. This would mean that I arrive back in Lyttelton by the end of March as per my original plan. It has still been an absolutely fantastic trip, one of the most amazing things (if not the most amazing thing) I have done, and I have learnt so much about the sea, handling Honey in all sorts of conditions, seen incredible places, met wonderful people along the way, had a blast, and not to mention being able to share a good part of it with Tim, and also with Dad and Mum. The North Island isn't going anywhere, I can sail around there another day.

After a relaxed morning on Wednesday, Tim headed back to Lyttelton in the afternoon and I got ready to carry on my adventure the following day. I had spoken with my best friend Sandra (Sands), and she was keen to visit me in Queen Charlotte Sound, particularly as I no longer planned to stop into Wellington on my travels – she was looking to arrive on the ferry from Wellington in the middle of the day on Saturday and return the following day. Tim also said he would try to come up for the weekend – this would give him an opportunity to have the weekend on Treasure, meet Sands and catch up with me! I just needed to get myself around to Queen Charlotte by Saturday. The weather forecast was good, not so good on the west coast of the North Island thanks to Tropical Cyclone Sandra, I had obviously made the right decision.

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