Boat maintenance, finally leaving Picton and Queen Charlotte sound.
We spent the next week doing boat jobs. Bill replaced the Eberspacer heater unit that we had had sent to Kate and we now have a working heater, think we’re going to need it soon. After Bill had revamped the steps at Kate’s the rest of the varnishing looked very tired so we revarnished the main saloon and galley. It’s like decorating at home, everything needs to be put away, curtains taken down, cushions packed away etc. As we still had Kate’s car we were able to visit chandleries, supermarkets, doctors and dentists. So I was ‘topped and tailed’ and Bill had a tooth out and another filled.
We drove back to Kate’s the following weekend. Originally it was to see Will perform but the earthquake had destroyed the theatre so that was cancelled. We did manage to meet Michael and Ger from Simanderal at the airport before they flew back to Australia. It was nice to catch up with their news. We had intended to go back to Picton on the Tranzcoastal train but it had been cancelled since the earthquake and we had to go on the bus instead. Bill was quite disappointed.
We spent another week finishing the varnishing and the clean up before finally on Monday 14th March we left Picton. As we left I lifted the fenders, we had been in Picton so long we had barnacles on the bottom of them. We didn’t go far, it took us an hour and a half to motor round to Waterfall bay. It was quite windy but peaceful. The next morning we went on a beautiful walk over the hill to Mahia on Pelorus sound, looped round the peninsular and then down to Mistletoe bay for a picnic and back to the boat.
We moved further up QC sound the next day back to Endeavour inlet and the buoy at Punga cove where we had been with Kate and the children. We met Gary and Jackie on Inspiration Lady from Canada there and enjoyed a nice drink and a chat. The next day we walked right to the top of the Kenepuru saddle. It was only 200m high but it felt more. The views were astounding; it felt like we were on top of the world. We walked for several hours, enjoying our picnic sitting on a seat with views across to Kenepuru sound. This part of the world must be one of the best in the world, it’s quite impossible to photograph.
On the Saturday we sailed to the head of the sound past Cape Jackson, across the top of Pelorus sound down towards French Pass. We found a buoy to hang onto just outside the approaches so that we were ready to go through with the tide the next day. We had been given all sorts of dire warnings about going through the pass at the wrong time. It’s a big tidal gate and has white water showing most of the time but there’s about half an hour every 12 hours that’s safe to transit. Hopefully I’ve got my tidal flows correct.