Tuesday 8th February

The Generator was fixed by Cindy, an energetic and extremely capable young lady. Simon was most impressed! After a fast sail of 450 miles down the West Coast we stopped for a night in Tasman Bay. Since then repairs and more maintenance. Nelson is a fun place for a stop over as it’s relaxed, plenty of eateries to choose from, markets, crafts and arts.

A west coast Sunset.

Nelson has plenty of attractive and easy walks.

plenty of Market Gardeners happy to show you their cucumbers

Anchorage Bay where we met up with friends.

A new seasons cruise

31st January 2013

We began the year with a quick trip ‘overseas’ to get an extension for Duet to stay another year in New Zealand. Norfolk Island is an extraordinary place isolated as it is from almost everywhere. It is the closest bit of Australia to New Zealand which is why we choose to go there. It is little visited by yachts as there is no harbour, just a roadstead in which you can anchor although the holding is not good and you have to be prepared to move very quickly when the wind changed direction. Our visit was extremely rapid, 12 hours in total, as Cyclone Erne was heading our way. 

as it is impossible to come alongside the jetty wall the cargo has to be unloaded into a lighter and then the crane hoists them onto the jetty.
Christmas weather was dreary but we had a great time in spite of that with our friends in the Beautiful Bay of Islands.

This year I have decided to practise aquaculture. I have discovered that bok choy, spring onions,leeks and celery will continue to grow when stood in a small amount of water. Spring onions are particularly successful as the tops re-grow really quickly so always a fresh supply of ‘chives’ to hand.

 I have my mini allotment of fresh veggies! 
No fish caught this year so far which is typical as Simon gave me a New soft bait rod for Christmas. 
The weather has been stunning ever since new year and instead of hooking a fish we dived for scallops of which there were plenty this year.

Apart from sailing we have done quite a lot of walking in some of the most stunning places. Both of us are much fitter than we were!

Is it a bird or is it a ‘plane?
We visited the Murawai Australian Gannet colony. We spent hours watching these fascinating birds.

It’s the breeding season – chick looking on as it’s parents bill and coo! Like all Kiwis they grew up, emigrate to Australia and then return when they are a lot older.

tomorrow – ?


Friday 30th March or is it?

We are at the most eastern cape of New Zealand. In fact we are
very nearly on the international date line. So it is yesterday again, or nearly.
Quick look in the mirror confirms that No, I don’t look a day

We  are heading north from  Gisborne to the bay of
Islands  where we will meet up with the Lennox-Kings and friends for
Easter. We have to keep the speed up as a tropical depression is heading our way
– we hope to be in by Sunday as the forecast shows storm force winds and rain
for Monday and Tuesday…..

Picton to Gisborne


Thursday March 39th.

We were not sorry to leave Picton. We had ferocious gales that put a stop to sailing for a while. We walked a few trails and did some wine tasting so didn’t waste our time so to speak. We were happy to get out of the marina after a few days and park ourselves in some attractive coves. We found beaches with Cockles and Pipis so that satisfied the hunter-gatherer instinct. Plenty of time in hand to catch up on boat jobs as well. The forecast was better so we headed off up the coast to Gisborne. Cape Palliser and Castle point lived up to their windy reputation but as it was on the beam it made for a very fast and comfortable ride. Gisborne is a pilgrimage to visit the spot where Captain James Cook stepped ashore on 8th October 1798 to meet with the Chief. It was not an altogether happy occasion as Maori gestures were misinterpreted by the Brits who of course fired off a Musket and shot a Maori. Not clever. Cook sailed off without reprovisioning with food or water, hence naming the area, Poverty Bay. First we climbed the hill overlooking Gisborne which gives stunning views of the bay and stood beneath the statue of James Cook. Except of course it isn’t him. The statue had been given to the town thinking it was the real Cook, but it turns out not to be the Great Man himself, but probably some Italian……… However we found the real statue as well as the one of Young Nick the surgeons lad who was in the crows nest as was the first person to spot the land.

Not James Cook
Captain James Cook
Young Nick

Duet sails north


Exit of the Tory channel
Exit of the Tory channel

This is the Exit of the Tory channel into the notorious Cook Straight.

Lovely sunny day and wind dropped to 25 knots. We are heading North maybe stop en route.

Picton and the Sounds


Tuesday March 21st.

When the bottle of wine slid off the table as Duet heel
over in a particularly vicious gust, we said; ‘That’s is, we are not going to
the Chatham Islands. We were securely moored up in Picton marina at the time. We
have had weeks of bad weather but this took the biscuit so to speak. In the
meantime we have thoroughly enjoyed cruising the sounds and
walking  the Queen Charlotte Track. We would park the boat on a
Pylorus boating club mooring, walk part of the track and take a water taxi
back from whence we came.

One evening we were lucky enough to be on one such mooring
when a launch came and moored alongside. They asked if we would like a crayfish,
would we ever!

One for the Pot
One for the Pot
Crown fern
Crown fern
Tory channel
Tory channel
Fiddle head or Koru
Fiddle head or Koru