February 25, 2017
Tawa Bay, Tory Channel, Marlbourgh Sounds
41'15.8 S 174'12.2 E
We moved around to Pigeon Bay the following day and spent a blowy night but with less swell than Flea Bay.
The wind died and we left in light winds which never rose to more than ten knots and were mostly under five. This made sailing difficult so we motored most of the way, dragging a fishing line that caught four baracouda. But the Kiwi's don't eat baracouda so we threw them back.
We arrived yesterday in a golden morning and steamed through the green mountain sided Tory Channel to this anchorage. After falling back to sleep at ten we awoke, guiltless, at 1:15 and, after lunch, went on shore for a hike. The temperature was in the upper 70's, one of the hottest days of our summer. We climbed a dirt road to the north of our anchorage and, at the top, startled an eagle in the process of stalking a goat. I wonder what that eagle had in mind. He flew off, the goat 'bahed' and initially ran off but kept reappearing keeping twenty yards behind us as we descended. Where does he live?
March 5, 2017
41'15 S 174'54 E
We left with a plan to sail overnight to Gisborne and arrive just before the high winds arrived. This was curtailed two hours later when they arrived early. The forecast was upgraded to forty knot winds. We headed for Wellington.
It turned out to be a good thing because we found our life raft. It had been serviced in Auckland two months ago and was promised to be waiting for us in Wellington when we arrived a month ago but it never appeared.
When I called Saftey at Sea on Thursday I was told they had it in Auckland and would be shipped to us in the north. When I called Chaffers Marina here I was told they were full but our life raft was in the lounge.
We have met lot of interesting characters in this life but Gillian was a first. When we arrived in Seaview Marina she helped tie us up and then invited us to sit at her table at the yacht club for dinner that evening. I was wary. Gillian was clearly a transgender but we were hungry and Onora's cook deserved a night out.
When we arrived she jumped up, signed us in and made room for us at her packed table. We were warmly welcomed by everyone and soon forgot that Gillian was different. Clearly no one else at the table seemed to think so.
I recounted my life raft saga which was now sitting ten miles away at Chaffers. The next morning, as I was setting out to rent a car to fetch it before it disappeared; Gillian pulled up in her brown Rover sedan and offered to drive me.
As we traveled she recounted her past, growing up on a farm and having a concerned father who saw that she went into the army at fifteen. 'Best thing that ever happened to me.' Her technical talents were recognized and lead her to a career in engineering and cryptography.
- [ Part III ] -