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Published: December 6th 2008
Wednesday, 2 December 2008
As the Captain sailed off to visit Pelorus Sound last Tuesday, I was on my way to stay with long time friends Mark and Kerry Roberts. The Captain, of course, thought I had mutinied, but all the excitement had just culminated in my need for some time out.
I thought of my son Alex, a marine engineer, who goes to sea for three months at a time. I suspect that when he is at sea he yearns for the land, but have noted that when he is on land he yearns for the sea. I suspect I have similar tendencies because after a day on land, having slept well and enjoyed the company of my friends I was ready to get back on board. The Captain was busy trying to catch every fish Pelorus Sound had to offer by that stage so I was to be land based until he came back into range.
Mark and Kerry are in the process of renovating their house in Cloudy Bay - a labour of love which has seen them working full time on the project since February this year. Each time I visit they have made
huge progress, and this time was no exception. In fact while I was there they managed to get the last of the structural changes completed. They have taken a small non-descript beach house and turned it into a stunningly roomy home with views that are to die for. I am really looking forward to seeing it when it is finished.
Each morning I woke to a magnificent unobstructed view of Cloudy Bay, right across to the lower north island. Walk on to the beach and look right and you see the snow capped Seaward Kaikoura’s peaking above the Marlborough Hills. I slept upstairs with curtains open and the photographs attached are what I woke up to. So far on this trip I have been treated to an abundance of natural beauty, and I recognize just how blessed we are in this country. I cant wait to see what the rest of our journey has in store for us.
I spent the days helping where I could (can now add builders gofer to my resume). It was good to be able to take over some of Kerry’s tasks (eg. cooking) to allow her to do the painting and other
things she needed to do. I loved my time with them, and the various family members who drifted in and out. These people are great story tellers and while a lot of time is spent in laughter, their vivid descriptions of people and events bring the area and its people to life.
We ventured into Blenheim a few times. Things have changed somewhat since I lived here some 17 years ago. The biggest difference is the explosion in the amount of land planted in grapes. It seems a shame to me that so much of the fruit which was so plentiful back then, is now gone.
Kerry’s birthday saw us at the Marlborough Club - a brilliant facility which has combined all the local Clubs into one. We hit the pokies and I won enough to shout lunch. A return visit to the club a few days later was for a less happy occasion. Kerry and I attended the funeral of Des Dudley, who had been the GSI (General Service Instructor) on our Recruit Courses when we joined the Airforce. The after function was held in the RSA section of the Club.
Meanwhile, contact had been made
with the Captain on Hakura. We arranged to meet on Sunday, at high noon, in Picton (how adventurous does that sound!).
He sent a text on Saturday to let me know he was heading into Resolution Bay in outer Queen Charlotte Sound to spend the night. Soon after he rang to tell me Hakura had no reverse. This had been discovered right about the time he was heading for the wharf. He was now heading to Waikawa Bay Marina for repairs to the pulpit, which was somewhat bent, and to the gearbox.
Several hours later another phone call informed me that he and Hakura were safely berthed in Waikawa Bay Marina. Hakura no longer had neutral and was stuck in forward. This had been discovered on entering the Marina. There was some damage to the bow. There did not appear to be any damage to the pier. I suspect that by this time he was thinking, shit happens … and happens … and happens.
I, of course, rushed to the scene armed with fresh milk so the tea could keep flowing, and moved back onto the boat on Monday. Since then all
repairs have been carried out and Hakura is looking great again with gears that are running smoother than ever before.
Kerry and Mark loaned us Jim (a genuine old fashioned mini) to have on hand in case we needed to get anywhere and today we went into Blenheim to get the last of our supplies (we have discovered several treats that appear to be unique to this area).
Doug was reminded of the movie ‘Goodbye Pork Pie’ and felt this mode of transport was perfect on land in the South Island. We have said and farewells to the Roberts and returned Jim.
Tomorrow we head out to the outer Sounds again, and on Friday we will be sailing back to Wellington. Hopefully the weather will favour us fairly quickly so we can start our journey up the East Coast of the North Island.
I left Pelorus Sound on Saturday morning with the prospect of a motor all the way. The wind sprung up from the northwest with the prospect of a good beam run through to Cape Jackson. It was a fabulous sail with a twenty knot northwester over my left shoulder. Hakura really
enjoyed her chance to spead her sails and have a good run.
Entering Queen Charlotte Sound i avoided the confused sea around Cape Jackson, gybed, and sailed into the Sound as far as Long Island when the wind died. Dropping sail I motored into Resolution Bay with the intent of stocking up on water so as to clean up the boat and the Captain before picking up Lorraine on Sunday at midday. No more will be said about wharves, just to say Tony Cooper from CharterLink in Waikawa Bay is a genious with grease and a Jack. Thanks Tony
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