Crew: Geoff, Graciela
18 February – Catherine Cove to Ship Cove
Forecast: Southerly 18 kts easing to south-westerly 15 kts.
We woke up in the morning at Catherine Cove to the wind and choppy sea which hadn’t abated from last night. Rather than row the dinghy ashore we called the Wilderness Lodge and told them we would pay for the mooring via internet banking. No problems. Departed at 1030 hrs. Called Marlborough-Nelson Radio to log a trip report. They suggested that when we arrive at Ship Cove we should close the TR on Ch. 1.
By the time we had left Catherine Cove and reached Clay Point the weather had cleared nicely. Perfect blue skies conditions, calm seas and 13 kts of tail winds. We connected up ‘Ernesto’ and set the course for Cape Jackson with full Mainsail and No. 3 Genoa. Put the fishing line out with the spinner trailing behind us. Ever hopeful!
We now understand how the tides work at Cape Jackson. When tide is coming in to Picton it is current is flowing east to west at the cape and vice versa. See image below. High tide in Picton today was at 1449.
As we neared the cape we noted a few other boats travelling in the same direction and our speed over ground was averaging 7 kts so that was a good sign we had it right. We passed the gap between Cape Jackson and the lighthouse at 1343 hrs with no problems at all except for a large powerboat called ‘Bellarosa’ cutting in at high speed between us and the cliffs. Rather dangerous I thought and I waved to him to slow down but he just gave me a cheery wave back. As soon as we had cleared the point and entered Queen Charlotte Sound our speed slowed down to 5 kts as we hit the outgoing tide from Picton.
We sailed down to Queen Charlotte Sound towards Motuara Island. As we neared Ship Cove at 1500 hrs we saw ‘Bellarosa’ again, this time tied up at the club mooring. We slowly approached the boat and noted that they didn’t have a club pennant flying. Geoff politely asked them how long they would be there as we wanted to stay the night on the mooring. The response was “Oh we’ll be gone in 20 minutes. Just go over to the jetty and wait.” Mmm. Well we didn’t have any choice so we motored to the jetty and waited about an hour until they finally roared off.
We then tied up at the Ship Cove club mooring and had a lovely restful evening. Geoff had a swim and did a bit of hull inspection and checked the prop. (We had noticed a vibration at low revs in gear since leaving Motueka). All looked fine though I did think the prob shaft could be a bit loose in the cutlass bearing.
19 February – Ship Cove to Picton
After breakfast and a visit back to the jetty for a walk around and use of the DOC toilets, we departed Ship Cove at 1100 hrs. Once we got into the Sound we found 20 kts northerly blowing down our necks. We tried different sail options and after an unfortunate gybe decided to sail with two reefs in the Mainsail and no jib. Made our way down the QC Sound with strong following seas at relaxing speed of about 5-6 kts. Arrived at the Picton Marina at 1445 hrs while Graciela was having a little nap so Geoff berthed the boat single-handed. No problems.
We enjoyed a relaxing couple of days in Picton with walks and swims while we prepared for the last leg of our trip back to Wellington. Gerard and Rose came down to the boat for drinks and snacks one night and we had a lovely catch-up with them.