Duet II South Island, Milford Sound

44:40:63S, 167:55:21E
Milford Sound.

A dramatic landscape of jagged peaks, glaciers and impressive waterfalls: this is the attraction of Fordland that draws us down here. From Nelson it’s some 400 miles once past Farewell spit with no where to stop on the way unless you are a fishing boat. Once there we knew that we could expect very little in the way of facilities. And also we knew that here lived and attacked the most ferocious sandflies in the southern hemisphere.

Our trip down the coast was uneventful in that the weather was kind and we spent far longer motoring than sailing. When the wind came in there was plenty of it.. Sunrise on the third morning at sea brought us a dramatic view of the Southern Alps. There was Mount Cook inked against the copper and gold sky where the spirit of Sir Edmund Hillary wanders.

There is little room for romanticism whilst sailing, the practical issues always bring you down to earth. Our generator chose this moment to overheat and stop. Investigation showed that the impeller was torn to bits. No worries, we thought, we’ll soon be able to replace that as this boat was packed with boxes of spare parts. Impellers there were plenty off but all for deck wash pumps or similar! Deep water basin at the head of Milford sound now has a small marina with water and electricity, all leased out to the fishermen. But if a berth is free you are allowed to use it until they return. So far all the fishermen have been so helpful and friendly as well as keeping us in supplies of crayfish and tuna. Whilst waiting for the spares to be sent to Te Anau we decided that we had to walk the famous Milford Track. Well two hours of it! After we had fitted the new impeller the weather settled into to be thoroughly foul which gave us ample opportunity to go through the rest of the 98 spaces on the boat. What did we find? Non other than a box with all the impellers for everything!

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