Well the time has come for us to leave our winter home in Nelson and start heading North again. We had been there four months and the local boating community were really starting to make us feel at home. We met such a nice group of likeminded people who shared their homes meals and expertise in the boating and fishing fields with us. We had many great days and a contrast of different weather where we sailed and motored the beautiful Tasman Bay National Park, or out in Tasman Bay, having lunches or sipping wine in a setting sun with people we were either introducing the SEAWIND to, or with new friends we had made, or practicing the ‘hove to’ in 35kts of wind!!!. Alec feels the more practice at some of these things the better. He is more than likely right but as for me, well I just wanted to keep sailing and get back to port and not muck around!!
Alec and I would like to say a big thank you to Mike and Gabbi who put up with us for the time SHAMAL was out of the water. Thank you so much for the loan of the car also. Very much appreciated. A big thank you to our new friends Nick and Bronwyn who could not do enough for us. Nick your help on the boat was exceptional, and Bronwyn thank you for getting me started with my quilting, and to you both for having us to stay. Craig and Sandra thank you for your help with all the fishing gear and those fishing tips which really paid off. Yes I got my first hapuku at McManaway rock on our second visit there, along with blue cod and those red very tasty sea perch!! Bob your work on the boat and advice with all your experience was again very helpful. You will be pleased to hear ‘no water’ as we rounded Stephens Island in confused seas doing a good 9kts on a close reach.
Alec and I sailed out of Nelson on Tuesday 18th November. It was a sad morning but also exciting as we headed out on yet another adventure. We spent four days exploring the outer Marlborough Sounds fishing, hunting and just enjoying this beautiful part of New Zealand before sailing into Picton to pick up my cousin Simon and his wife Kay. We then headed on out to explore more of the Sounds. This area has over 1,400ks of coastline so there is plenty to see and do. We had a mixed bag of weather so it gave Simon and Kay a bit of an idea of what we get up to. At this time of the year different areas of the Sounds are prone to very strong wind gusts called ‘darts’ which have been known to knock over a mono hull yacht, but our catamaran rose to the occasion picking up speed for a minute or two humming along at high speed then the wind would die away as quickly as it came. There was one time where we did reef down the main. – abeam ‘Capsize Point’ in Pelorus Sound!!!!! Each night we picked up a mooring buoy in a different beautiful bush lined bay where the ferns and other plants were growing right to the water’s edge. Even before you cut the engines you could hear a chorus of native birds which was just beautiful. We sometimes went ashore and explored the area going for bush walks or looking at homes and beach houses in some of the more remote areas where the only way in or out is by boat. We had a couple of meals at different lodges really enjoying the ambience of each place – set in our beautiful bush but also built on the water.
As I write this we are back in Picton having dropped Simon and Kay off. We caught up with more friends Peter and Molly Banks here in town last night over a lovely Indian meal. On Friday or Saturday we hope it will prove to be a good weather window to cross Cook Strait to Wellington. I do not want a repeat of our last trip into Wellington!!
Well that is all for this note. Hope all is well with you all and that you are getting into the Christmas Season.