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, 20 March 2013

Sailing across Tasman Bay (4 March)

I woke up feeling content with my decision that a sail around the North Island was not likely to happen at this stage. I had decided that I would make a quick trip back to Lyttelton with Mum who was travelling down from Blenheim to Christchurch on Thursday afternoon for the weekend – this would give me an opportunity to catch up with Tim and see what could be done to repair the wind turbine and the autohelm. I thought I would head into Nelson the next day, and catch a bus from there through to Blenheim, but it was rather pricey to moor in Nelson Marina and Honey would potentially be there for almost a week. I spoke to Dad, and he suggested I leave Honey on his mooring in Kenepuru Sound, and catch a ride into Blenheim from there. This sounded a much better plan, and with the wind blowing SW 15 knots and forecast to continue for the rest of the day, it would be a lovely sail across Tasman Bay. I pulled up anchor at midday and was heading out from Adele Island when the harbour master came alongside – “did I have my census forms?”, he was handing them out to boaties who may not have access to them. I had heard that there was a census when I was in Fiordland – Meri Leask had put out a message on the VHF to fishermen who may not be able to pick up the census forms – but that was a few weeks back and with no other means of keeping up with the news I had completely forgotten about the census. I took some forms and headed on my way. With the main fully raised and the headsail unfurled, it was a lovely sail for the first hour of the trip, and then the wind petered out and Honey was wallowing in the small slop that remained. I guessed that the day breeze from the north was exactly countering the SW winds, hopefully the day breeze would pick up more later in the afternoon. I furled up the headsail, pulled the mainsail in tight and motored for a bit over an hour. By this stage the day breeze had picked up sufficiently that I could just make 4 knots. Back out with the headsail and I sailed across to Croiselles Harbour – I had thought about heading through French Pass and anchoring in Elmslie Bay, but I wouldn't make the tidal flow window. With the winds picking up, our speed increased and by the time Honey and I reached Croiselles we were moving at 6 knots. Turning into the harbour, the wind eased off and I dropped sails and motored the last mile into Whangarae Bay (next to Okiwi Bay). I anchored close to a sandy beach – it was a little after 7pm by this stage. It was a lovely warm and sunny evening, time to do a little handwashing (enough to keep me going until I found a washing machine) and dinner and bed.

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