Tomkinsons on Tour
22nd January 2011
41º 06.7 south
174º 13.3 east
Kate and the family joined us on Camomile for a holiday in Queen Charlotte sound.
We had been at Picton marina just over a week when Kate, Barry, Will and Daisy came to join us. So far the weather has been awful with wind and/or rain most days, one evening we recorded gusts of 43kts. Not a lot has happened, we just got on with general living, shopping, washing, internet, etc. Bill has remodelled my fridge by making it smaller using slabs of insulation board so it doesn’t suck so much power out of the batteries. The tribe arrived on Saturday 22nd January to more rain. There was a Maritime festival in Picton that day which we wandered around and the day ended with a wonderful firework display. The next morning Barry and Billy the dog had to go back to Christchurch to work. The rain continued.
Monday morning came along with a beautiful sunny, blue-sky day. At last we could enjoy some better weather and we all decided we would go for a sail. Everyone had showers (might be their last chance for a day or two) and we left the marina at 12.30 to enjoy a gentle sail up the sound with just the Genoa (foresail) flying. We managed a couple of hours before the wind dropped and we motored into the Bay of Many Coves and into Cockle cove. It was a lovely spot. The dinghy was lowered and we went ashore to explore the beach. Bill cooked a delicious barbeque that evening.
The next morning we awoke to the most perfect scene. The anchorage was stunning, without a breath of wind there were the most superb reflections around us, the lovely weather continued. We left the anchorage at lunchtime with the intention of sailing to Ship Cove to see Cooks monument but the wind started to rise and as we got nearer to the open sea it started to get a bit rough so we motored into Endeavour inlet and anchored right up inside. We had strong winds overnight but the anchor held fast.
The next morning the sun was back so we all got into the dinghy and went ashore to walk part of the Queen Charlotte track. The track stretches from Ship cove to Anaiwa and passes through lush coastal forest, around bays and along skyline ridges. It takes three to five days to complete the whole walk. The section around the Endeavour inlet isn’t very hilly and we had a wonderful stroll around to Punga Cove resort where we discovered they had buoys strong enough for Camomile, a bar, showers and a swimming pool ….. we were out voted and Bill and I brought Camomile around to the resort for the night.
We all enjoyed the showers. Bill and I walked further to the top of the next ridge and were rewarded with the most superb views.
The next day, Thursday, we left at lunchtime again and needed to start heading back towards Picton. It was very gusty but we put the Genoa out and everyone took turns on the helm. During Kate’s turn we had a gust of 43kts and it knocked us right over. Her face was a picture, she wasn’t sure if she should be worried or not. The kids were holding on tight and we soon bobbed back up. It wasn’t a problem and we continued on down the sound. We went into Onahau bay, just past the entrance to Picton. We anchored in Mistletoe bay right at the top. It had a small campsite ashore with a little shop that sold ice creams. Bill gave Will a lesson on how to use the outboard while Kate, Daisy and I went to see the local animals.
On Friday we motored the short distance back across to Picton and Bill drove Kate to Nelson airport so she could return early. Will and Daisy spent the weekend with us and then we drove them back on the Monday. We stopped in Kaikoura on the way down to look at the seals as they lay on the rocks in the sun.