Matt rapped on the cabin of Honey just before 7am, and bleary-eyed I jumped out of my bunk having had only half an hour to rest. In the light of the morning it was clear that Schaefer's Wharf had been turned into an appartment block, hence my earlier confusion. It was still raining and cold as we motored back around to Royal Port Nic, tying up to the wharf immediately in front of the yacht clubhouse. We received a wonderful welcome from a small group of club members who were outside the boat sheds and helped us tie up – Stephen took us around the yacht club basin showing us alternative places to moor and then generously offered us to have full use of his boat shed while we were there, his only condition was that if we have a party in it he gets an invite! We jumped at Stephen's offer – the boat shed was warm and had a dehumidifier running and proved to be a godsend with getting all our wet weather gear dry. After another short rest, Sands made her way down to the marina to welcome us in leaving armed with all my laundry! Royal Port Nic proved to be a great spot to stay – right in the city and a very short walk to Freyburg Pools where we could shower and use the sauna. The southerly had brought the start of winter, and after the lovely hot days till now I hadn't dressed for the conditions, and it took me a full two hours in the sauna that afternoon before I felt like a really started to warm up.
Recalling our adventures of the day before, Matt and Laurie said it was the roughest conditions they had encountered since leaving Tasmania. It was rough, although Honey and I had certainly encountered worse. We later heard that the Greenpeace boat Taitu, that was heading north to intercept a seismic blasting ship that same day, almost turned back due to the bad weather. The Wairarapa Coast didn't disappoint, having lived up to its reputation, and I was proud that Honey had charged through it all so well!
The wild weather was set to continue throughout the week easing on Friday, so it was clear we were staying put for a few days. It rained steadily over the next three days, and we made the most of being in the heart of the city frequently escaping the cold damp confines of our yachts. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with friends in Wellington – all three of us enjoyed dinner with Sands, I had a meal with Sarah and Dominique, visited Te Papa with an old school friend Annabel, and caught up with my brother Tim for brunch when he visited Wellington for work.
On Friday 6th April, I woke up with a fever and painful sore throat that worsened through the day, probably as a result of getting so cold when the southerly first arrived. We saw the first of the sun since we had arrived in Wellington, and when I surfaced from Honey complete with hat, scarf and all my warm clothes there were a couple sunbathing alongside Honey in bikini and board shorts! There was a good weather window opening for us the following day, a period of calm before the next set of fronts accompanying Cyclone Cook were due, and I hoped I would be well enough for the strait crossing. I slowly readied Honey through the afternoon, and Sands kindly ran me in to get supplies from the chemist. We had planned to go to drinks at the club that evening, but instead I retreated into Honey armed with a hot water bottle and hot toddy, to try and ward off my bug.