Having got over the excitement of our wedding, we quickly adjusted back into cruising mode and spent the rest of December mooching around in the Queen Charlotte Sound, enjoying the wet weather, walking the dogs and generally relaxing.
We were anchored back in Kumototo Bay with wonderful weather for Vicki's Birthday.
We finally finished off our Wedding Cake...
And tried to walk off some of it...
Christmas came around far too quickly. As a special treat, we spent Christmas at
the Punga Cove Resort and went out for Lunch for the first time in 12
years... no cooking or washing up – married bliss !!!
Unfortunately, we split our Main Sail again on Christmas morning so
we will have to replace this before we head across the Tasman Sea but
we can still use it for now with a couple of reefs in place.
We sailed around into
the Pelorus Sound on the 28th December and met up with Jean
& Matt on Superted in Snug Cove. We spent a couple of weeks
exploring this side of the Marlborough Sounds and visiting a number
of different anchorages before sailing up the Cook Strait to
The weather had been
quite windy with lots of williwaws – we even lost the seat of our
dinghy when it blew over in appropriately named “Chance Bay”…The
Cook Strait is infamous for its strong currents and rough waters and
we had been waiting for a good weather box. We had a very lively sail
and whizzed along the strait hitting 10.4 knots before Basil started
feeling a little peaky…
We spent just over a
week in Wellington, explored the Capital, caught up on our laundry
and stocked up at the Supermarket for the next few months – we were
down to our last 20 tins of chopped tomatoes !!!
We left Wellington on
24th January at 5.30am and arrived in Akaroa at about 7pm on the 25th -
not bad going for 190 miles although the Skipper was a bit tired as
the sea state was a bit mucky with a nasty Southerly swell... We
dropped our anchor in our “usual” spot in French Bay and the
following morning we were greeted with a toot from the friendly Ferry
Driver who clearly recognised us from our extended stay last year !!!
We ended up staying in
Akaroa for only 5 days waiting for some decent Northerlies to take us
further South. At least we didn’t have to wait for weather as
last year !!! We had a great time, we saw a lot of people we had met
last year and it was a bit like going home… We pulled up our anchor
around 5.30am on the 31st – it was very, very muddy and seemed to
We passed the Dawn
Princess Cruise Ship entering the Harbour as we were leaving to start
the last leg of our trip down to Stewart Island. We had a pretty
uneventful first day, saw numerous Hector's dolphins - the world's smallest and rarest dolphin found only in New Zealand plus 3 Cruise Ships lit up like Christmas Trees
during the night and basically enjoyed the nice easy sail.
Unfortunately, the wind
died off on the second day so we had to start the motor. We found
that our engine gland was leaking at 2000 revs so we were limited to
running the motor at 1700rpm which was ok but really limited our
speed. In addition, our bilge pump became blocked so we were manually
pumping the bilges – what fun !!
We ended up making very
slow progress as we had managed to get caught in some foul current
but on the 3rd February we picked up some good wind and had a lovely 20 mile
sail until we were about 8 miles from the anchorage when we got hit
by a 15 knot southwesterly (right on the nose).