Cruising Sounds with Robert – Dec 2016

Crew: Geoff and Robert

10 Dec – In contrast to the beautiful day we had for the crossing the the day before, the weather now turned to custard in Picton with rain and strong northerlies. After sleeping the night on the Picton mooring we did some shopping in Picton for supplies, topped up diesel and water, a coffee at Cortado and then left for Flipper Bay which looked like it would provide good shelter from the northerlies. Departed 1215 hrs and arrived Flipper Bay 1310 hrs to find a 43′ yacht Shenandoah and another boat already rafted up on the club mooring. They were very friendly and we tied up beside them and had a chat. They explained that they were going to have their annual Waikawa Club “raft-up” and were expecting up to 7 boats for the evening but we were welcome to join them. We decided however to move on. They recommended Governors Bay on the other side of Groove Arm would provide good protection. We sailed over and tied up at the mooring for the night. Great dinner cooked by master chef Robert accompanied by Chilean red wine.

11 Dec – Beautiful morning in Governors Bay . We hung up the jackets and clothes to dry in the sun and Geoff took the dinghy to the beach and went for a walk up the hill for some exercise and a photo. Had a quick dip in the rather cold sea followed by a warm shower using Peter’s solar shower. The wind was still northerly but we decided to try and sail up Queen Charlotte Sound to Ruakaka Bay. Departed 1249 hrs and tacked our way up the sound eventually arriving at the club mooring 1627 hrs with rain coming in again.

12 Dec – Woke up to sunshine in Ruakaka Bay and dried out clothes before departing 1046 hrs for Picton. Had a nice sail down the sound dodging the ferries and cautiously watching the big black clouds building up ahead of us. Around Allports Island the front suddenly hit us! High winds from the west and heavy rain. We dropped the headsail and put 2 reefs in the main and braved our way across the sound. The wind picked the dinghy up into the air and then flipped it over which meant it was being dragged along under the water behind us. We eventually made it into the shelter of Picton Harbour. Nice bit of excitement to end the trip!

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