Matt's 60th birhtday

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - March 2014

1 - 3 March - Left Picksergill and headed out of Dusky Sound for Chalky Inlet. Blowing quite a bit and more forecast so tucked up in North Port along with 2 research vessels and a charter fishing boat. The wreck of the SS Stella - the old government lighthouse tender - now lies rusting but is complete with satalite dish for the fishermen to watch the rugby!

4 March - Matt's 60th birthday and the weather improved so we sailed down to Southport - went for a thrash through the bush to Seek Cove in Preservation Inlet - the guide describes it as 'an easy walk' - think the forest must've grown a bit since that was written! Made a cheesecake for Matt's birthday (see piccie above) and we were actually able to sit in the cockpit with a G&T without being harressed by sand flies! (See flotsam Chalky Inlet)

5 March - Beautiful day so sailed through the 'Broke-Adrift Passage' into Preservation Inlet but the sea was a bit rough so Jean ended up standing gripping the cockpit table most of the way - fortunately it's only about 10 miles. Anchored at Spit Island which has a beautiful beach where many a Maori battle had been fought. Stopped for lunch at Cuttle Cove at the site of the first whaling station. Tied up for the night bow and stern in Isthmus Sound and went in search of a recumbent chinmey which had been used in gold rush times.

6 - 8 March - Kisbee Bay - came across the Preservation Lodge - we were invited in for a cuppa - a wonderful place full of old relics (and sandflies) - a privately owned lodge only accessible by helicopter or boat! Took a hike along to Puyseger Point Lighthouse, the most south-westerly point and the windiest place in New Zealand - we were incredibly lucky to get a good clear day without too much wind. Had a day trekking through the soggy forest partly along an old tramtrack to find a stamper used in the gold rush - a long, long trek with a steep climb down into the valley of the Wilson river and back in the rain! (see flotsam on Preservation Inlet for more photos and maps).

9 - 11 March - Good forecast so sailed to Stewart Island. After a 12 hour sail, we found a great protected anchorage in Easy Harbour on the west coast - met our first sea lion who was protecting 'his' beach. Headed around the bottom of Stuart Island a day later. The forecast was for winds of around 15 knots - perfect! In fact we got winds of 30+ knots gusting 40+. Fortuanately the wind and tide were with us so were schooching along between 11 and 13 knots. As we passed the most southerly point of New Zealand we were doing around 11 knots! Yes we were certainly in the roaring 40's and the southern ocean! Sailed round to Port Pegasus on the south east coast of Stewart Island.

11 - 12 March - Tucked up in Evening Cove and went for a tramp up to the Fraser Peaks and some interesting rock formations. Once again following directions from the guide we never really found the 'very well defined path through the bush' and ended up bush bashing our way up to the top. Very windy up there too.

13-14 March - More bad weather forecast so sailed further into Port Pegasus to Disappointment cove where we could wander along a track at the head of the bay to Broad Bay on the south coast. Alledgedly there is a colony of yellow-eyed penguins here but we didn't see any - just a very old sea-lion keeping an eye on us!

15 - 16 March - Blue sky and sunshine and less wind forecast so we anchored off Billy's Cove and went for a hike up to 'Bald Cone' - a granite peak 275 metres high. As we set off the mist came in but we kept going thinking it would clear - it didn't! Although we had a great hike (once we had hacked our way through the bush) we didn't have the great views promised - shame. Sailed round to Waterlilly Bay in the north arm of Port Pegasus for the night.

17 March - Had a good sail up to Port Adventure and spent a couple of nights at Abraham's Bosum.

19 - 21 March - Finally found a bit of civilisation at Oban where we re-fuelled and went to a supermarket - the first since Nelson. Also got a dodgy internet signal - whooppee! No mobile phone signal though. Anchored in Golden Bay in Patterson Inlet where we met up with Vicki and Roger on El Vagabond.

21 - 23 March - Sailed across Patterson Inlet to Little Glory Bay - famous for the evening trips to see the kiwis on the beach at the other side of the island. We went for a 'reccie' on the first day then got up at 5am the next day to see if we could find a kiwi! We got to the beach not long after 6am - it was still quite dark but we did spot 2 kiwis rummaging through the seaweed.

24 - 28 March - spent between Golden Bay, Ulva Island, Little Glory and Prices Inlet which was once a Norwegian base for whalers. Played golf at the most southerly golf course in the world - well until we discovered that the one in Ushaiua is more southerly! So it became the 2nd most southerly golf course in the world! It's a great course of 6 holes which you are supposed to do 3 times - we managed twice round! Went for a walk around Ulva Island - a reserve where we spotted a few of the New Zealand indiginous birds before heading out to Prices Inlet and the old Norwegian whalers base. See flotsam Stewart Island.

29 March - Left Stewart Island for Port Chalmers on the east coast of the south island on our final leg of our circumnavigation.

Position on 31 March S45.48.55 E170.37.99