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The newlywed Stephens and the old Oldfields.

The ruined Cathedral of Christ Church

One hundred eighty-five chairs comemorate the dead

A modern city rises from the ruins of the 'London of the South'.

Lyttleton's Saturday Market

Auckland to the Banks Peninsula where we will turn north again

February 10, 2017

West Coast South Island

42°06 S 174°06 E

We are on our way to Lyttelton some way down the Kaikoura Coast being pushed by a north westerly that arrived overnight. It is cool in the cabin which is rolling with the seas but manageable. We have our sails partially rolled in to reduce speed to arrive after 8:00am tomorrow when Allen MacKaley is to meet us on the dock and help us tie up in the commercial harbor

This is an inhospitable coast that few explore. The mountains, golden in the late sun, run to the sea along the coast ten miles to the west of us and the roaring forties of the deep Pacific make up the rest. Albatrosses soar. The whales that should be here are in the news. Four hundred have beached at Farewell Spit just fifty miles away-three hundred have died. What makes them do this?

February 13, 2017


42°06 S 174°06 E

We are tied between a barge and a fishing boat on a ‘condemned’ wharf half destroyed in the earthquake. Allen MacKaley welcomed us and apologized for not having facilities for the few yachts that visit.

Lyttelton is a funky place at the end of a fiord connected to Christchurch by tunnel. It is a fishing village and art outpost that runs down the mountains to a working port. Our server at Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant said tourists seldom come here, most visit Akaroa where the cruise ships call since the earthquake destroyed much of lyttelton's docks.

We bused into Christchurch, unrecognizable from my visit a dozen years ago when it was a grey stone English city built around a solid soaring cathedral. Now the church's ruins are surronded by a fence and tall weeds while the city is slowly rises in modern glass and steel.

One hundred and eighty-six empty white chairs, from baby car seats to rockers, commemorate the lives lost in the earthquake. It leaves one with the feeling of sorrow without the anger of a visit to Ground Zero. We will return today to see more.




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