Landlocked in Havelock

With our guests gone we are back in the Havelock marina and all was very quiet. Not a sound in the house, not even a mouse.

Havelock is another coastal village similar to Picton at the head of the Pelorus Sound. The population is around 500 peeps and the road between Nelson and Blenheim passes through the town. And although they don’t have too many people, they are the centre of the green-lipped mussel industry in NZ (more on this later in the piece).  It was gold in 1864 that led to the growing township, then sawmilling and then dairying.

00 Havelock

What I found most interesting about Havelock’s history is that it is named after Sir Henry Havelock, known from the Siege of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion in 1857. The main street at that time was called Lucknow Street. With my father being born in Lucknow, India, it was a cool link!

Another interesting piece of trivia that the Malborough Marina group are very proud of is that Malborough only makes up 1% of the country’s population but they have 20% of the coastline.

09 Marlborough Stats

Today was boat maintenance time again.

Two key issues. Firstly, the hydraulics. B wondered if there was a leak in the system somewhere as the winch would let the anchor “creep” out. He also was still keen to explore a redundancy option should we lose the engine that pumps the hydraulic fluid for the stabilisers.

The other was the batteries again. These were still playing up and just didn’t seem to work as well as they used to. When we were in town with the kids, the chandlery Bow to Stern referred us to a company called the Owen Brothers who are known around town as the O Bro’s. They were fully booked up so they referred us to a guy called Mark. What a find! Mark and B sat down in the cockpit and talked through the issues at hand.

34 Mark's Number plate

Turns out that one of our house batteries (we have four) is dead. Another is dying and the other two won’t be far behind. They’ve been in the boat for about 5 years so it’s just one of those things. I would expect another five years out of them, but what would I know! However, I can’t help but think that this was the reason the electrics have been playing up and why the TV and lights kicked the bucket when we were in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. We ordered new batteries and decided to stay overnight to be here when they arrived the following day.

B was also concerned that we potentially had fuel in the oil – which is not good! He arranged with the local engineering firm to get an Oil Analysis Kit to send away a sample of the oil to get tested.  This needs to be posted to Christchurch for testing.

04 Oil Analysis Kit.png

Another guy Carl from FPS Solutions came to the boat to look at what was happening with the hydraulics. Unfortunately, after a day rummaging around swapping bits of componentry, he was none the wiser. The manuals were out but the puzzle remained.

01 Carl and the hydraulics

While all this engineering work was underway, I opted to get the washing done. We had a couple of loads and although we do have a condenser washer/dryer on the boat, marinas prefer that you use their facilities to keep the water as clean as possible. And their machines are commercial grade, big and do a great job. So, I went to the laundry where a load was already underway, but no queue.

02 Washing Room

For all those of you who have stayed at camping grounds with shared facilities, there is a certain etiquette. Following this, I put my bag of laundry at the base of the machine to clearly show that I was next. Not to mention we have a bright red laundry bag that can’t exactly be missed.

07 Inside the laundry

To help get me through these terribly mundane and domestic jobs, I often call my sisters while I work (and before you say anything you two, I call you other times too)! The machine was on the final spin, which is quite noisy, so I popped out of the room and stood beside it. I saw an elderly lady coming towards the room with a bag and an armful of what looked like toilet mats. I mentioned to her when she opened the door that there was a queue. I didn’t think I needed to explain that the red bag was next and the queue was me! She was taking some time so I told my sister to hold on and I popped my head back inside the door to see her putting another load in the machine. Huh? I calmly asked, “Are you putting another load on?”. Again, kind of obvious why I asked. Her response without looking around and hurriedly stuffing her mats into the machine said “Yes, I’m putting my next load on. It won’t take long. It’s only 20 minutes”.

Wow, the freaking cheek of it. Being in her 70’s I couldn’t say what I really thought but I was not happy. My poor sister got the download and her advice was for me to make friends with the woman and take her for a cup of tea. Thanks Tanya, but that was soooo not going to happen. When I returned 30 minutes later she was standing outside the room and quickly headed inside when she saw me. I opened the door to have her say “Sorry for holding you up but I’m done now”. My only thought was “If you were really sorry, you wouldn’t have pushed in young lady”. But my mother always taught me that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It is very unlike me to say nothing, but I did just that.  As I walked back to the boat, I did snigger to myself about how something could annoy me so much when actually I had all the time in the world and had nowhere to be. I suppose that injustice in any setting gets up my nose. Where’s that Shakti mat?

There was a campground next door and I now think that maybe they share the facilities with the marina. There is a property (made out of caravans) that seriously looks like it has been there for at least 30 years.  All I can say is “Young lady, I know where you live”!

05 Washing Ladies House

It was time to get off the boat and go for a walk. I was keen to see if we could visit a Mussel Factory to see how they process them from the barges, many of which pass our boat all day heading to the factories form the many “farms” around the area.

08 Mussel Barge

And although poor Carl wasn’t able to resolve our hydraulic issue, he certainly knows about mussels! He, like many of the other locals here in Havelock, have some equity in the mussel farms. I was telling him that we got some mussels off a farm last week for dinner. He reassured us that the companies do not mind at all if people take the mussels. And here’s why…

There are 600 farms in the Marlborough Sounds alone. Each farm has 10 lines and each line is 160 metres in length. They farm 25 tonnes per line! If my math is working correctly, that’s 150,000 tonnes of mussels!  He said if the entire Havelock marina took mussels for every meal, there would still be plenty to harvest and the industry wants to preserve goodwill with the local boaties (shared use). The mussel industry in NZ is around $375 million and that’s out of a $500 million total aquaculture industry. The remainder being oysters and salmon.

If you are ever in Havelock, there are cruises you can go on that will not only take you out to the gorgeous waters of the Pelorus Sound but also educate you on NZ’s mussel farming industry. Here is one of the cruise boats that was on our pier.

17 The Mail Boat - Daily Mussel Tours

There are two main factories here in Havelock; Talley’s and Sanford’s. It was such a lovely evening we decided to head towards the water where the Sanfords factory was.

On the way, we found the Pelorus Boating Club. There wasn’t much going on and similar to a number of the local boating clubs, they are closed most days. I’m sure they have a club day when they open their doors.

Although the factory was in full swing, it was after normal working hours and therefore not that inviting. I think if the office had been open, we could have asked there for a tour. We decided to do our own tour around the outside of the factory and then walked down the other end of Havelock where the Tally’s factory is. There were guys working on cleaning and seeding ropes for the farms.

The winch issue remains unresolved. B hadn’t done the oil test kits yet and wanted this done so he could post them away in the morning! We had not eaten since breakfast (‪at around 9:30am) and it was now ‪7pm. A frustrating wait while B filled up the test kits and one was rather hangry by the time we headed out for dinner! It had also been another scorcher of a day reaching 28 degrees.

Even in our hungry states, we wanted to eat at the Captain’s Daughter again, only to be told on arrival that their kitchen stove was out of action and they couldn’t do dinner service. It was back to the Slip Inn. It was a beautiful evening and the hills of Havelock looked fabulous from the restaurant. The food was nothing to rave about unfortunately but the view certainly made up for it.

On the way into town for breakfast the following morning, I put another load of washing on. B being B, he had the Oil Analysis Kit in hand. As we walked up the street to the post office, B spotted the NZ Post Rural Delivery van. He booted it across the road and intercepted the NZ Post women emptying a post box. She didn’t seem to mind and added our oil to her pile. Job done, now we can eat.

28 B intercepting the rural post

It was back to the Captain’s Daughter for breakfast. We sat out on the back deck and, after putting my order in, I was able to use Brett’s Bridge behind the restaurant to go and switch the washing into the dryer after the 20 minutes it takes to do a washing load.

Bridge and Captains Daughter

There was slight confusion over our order and we ended up with only one meal. It was big enough to share and we were happy with that!

In walking back to the boat we went through the campground which is quite open. We noticed that a number of the trees had fruit on them – apples, pears and peaches.

30 Community Orchard 2

Then we saw the sign that it is a Community Orchard,

29 Community Orchard

What a great idea.

I got another blog out while B worked on trying to figure out the hydraulic issue.

The batteries arrived ‪around 2pm. The lovely Mark brought them to the boat in a couple of trolleys. What I didn’t quite appreciate is that these batteries each weigh about 45kg. To take the current ones out and replace them in the tight area in the engine room is no easy task. And it is certainly not a ‘one man job’.

31 Batteries

Both B and Mark had not seen the brand before and were concerned to know if they were the right ones and the best ones. After a number of phone calls to a number of the marine electric industry, we had some trusted feedback that they would indeed be OK. These are not something you want to install and then have to swap out again!

B got his activewear on and off they went! Poor Mark, like all the engineers working on the boats, he needs to comply with Health & Safety regulations and wear full length, fire resistant overalls. Ironically it was about 36 degrees in the engine room today, so he would surely die of heat exhaustion before a fire would get to him!

I made some chicken liver pate while these guys worked tirelessly in removing the old batteries and installing the new. They have to navigate onto the boat from the pier, down our stairs and into the tight spaces in the engine room. They have definitely had their cardio and weight training for the week at least!

The most astonishing thing of all was that when all the house batteries were removed, the gauge that we manage the batteries off, still read 23.4 volts! WTF?  We can only put it down to larger firms in Auckland using multiple team members and no-one checking the work thoroughly at the end of the job. They had hooked up the sensor of our house batteries to our starter batteries! No wonder we were confused about what was happening!

We ate dinner at Captain’s Daughter again and it was just as yummy as the first time! Missing my Asian food, I opted for a Thai Chicken Curry and B the Salmon Linguine I had last time. Unfortunately, my curry wasn’t exactly an Asian version – more like a Kiwi Curry.

The next morning I cooked breakfast on the boat including some of my favourite Black Pudding. When I was young and didn’t eat much at all, my mum got me eating ‘black sausage’. I had no idea what I was eating but really liked the taste. It wasn’t until about 20 years later that I realised what black pudding actually was. I’ve found that it’s become ‘trendy’ in a number of the cafes and I still love the taste.

37 Breakfast on 17th

It was clear that for some of the things I wanted on the boat, I was not going to be able to source them in Havelock. It was online shopping time! We were planning to be in Nelson in about 2 weeks, so that was the best option for a delivery address. It is strange not having your own address! I may have got carried away a little, but after an hour online, I had 9 parcels winging their way to Nelson Marina. So exciting!

As I’m sure many of you are aware, my blogs are not a twitter feed of up to the minute activity! I used the downtime (well maintenance time for the boat) in Havelock to get writing and get another blog published.

Mark was back to finish off the battery installation. B managed to give himself a huge shock while he was sorting out the battery charger! He forgot to turn off the circuit before putting the cover back on after checking that his work was successful. Youch! Maybe he’s not a fully qualified electrician just yet. But…. boy has he learnt heaps. I’m still trying to get over the fact that the battery reading that we have been managing our battery usage was attached to the wrong battery! I’d like to find the muppet that did that and get them to pay for the satellite TV unit we had to replace! I don’t know how B stays so calm in these situations. Best I leave him to deal with the maintenance!

34 The Electrical Team

The lid to the top of the box where the batteries live did not have any ventilation and Mark thought it should. B walked into town with the lid to see what he could get done. He discovered a Menz Shed. They let him use the shed and drill the holes himself.

Having never heard of them before, I googled it. In a nutshell “Menz Shed brings men together in one community space to share their skills, have a laugh, and work on practical tasks individually (personal projects) or as a group (for the Shed or community)”.  It turns out they have them in 14 regions around NZ. How very cool. B was stoked that he got to do his own handy work and proud of the outcome.

40 B happy with his handy work

I made a very random lunch of Bok Choy and Pork & Fennel Sausages. I was really just trying to use up the Bok Choy that was going to go bad soon if I didn’t. It’s the one thing I find when we are stuck in a marina – we prefer to eat out, but there is leftover food in the fridges that need to be eaten. Not my best work.

It was also now pouring with rain and not the weather to go out walking for the sake of it. It was definitely an online day – lots of emails, texts and phone calls.

I used the opportunity to see what other food we had on board that really should be eaten up. Rummaging through the freezer I spotted the crayfish from Ngawi. Yum! I made another simple crayfish salad mixture and we ate it on lettuce. So yummy!

Crayfish Salad 2

For dessert, we had blueberries with homemade yoghurt, chopped pistachios and maple syrup!

47 Dessert

We woke up the following morning and decided it was high time that we did our blood pressure checks. With my family history of high blood pressure, I bought an Omron blood pressure machine years ago and had it recalibrated just before we left. B’s blood pressure is always excellent which is also a good check on the accuracy of the readings on that day. Mine was not so good – definitely too high! Funny thing is that I’m not too sure what I’m supposed to do about it while I’m on the boat. I decided I’d book in to see my doctor the next time I was in Auckland – just to be on the safe side.

We skipped back to the Slip Inn for breakie. We both chose the eggs benedict with no bread but asked to have them served on mushrooms instead – mine with salmon and B’s with bacon. They were good!

Bellies full, it was time to get back out on the water. This time to explore D’Urville Island before heading to Nelson.

Final engine checks and we’re off.

49 B putting final touches on the batteries

It had been raining quite heavily overnight and the channel was brown and covered in logs and other debris. Not pretty.

56 Debris in the water

I cleared the fenders off the side of the boat

50 Leaving Havelock in the rain

while Captain B diligently navigated us back out into the Pelorus Sound. This time bound for D’Urville Island and beyond.

50 Leaving Havelock

Farewell Havelock! Thanks for having us.

Click here to see our ‘up to the minute’ track on the map

 

 

 

Let’s Rummy!

Having seen the kids off safely, it was time to prepare for our next guests, who were arriving tomorrow morning. Off to the supermarket to stock up on fresh food and supplies. Havelock has a small Four Square supermarket. It had enough basics but certainly not the favourites I like to have on board. So, for some special supplies, we would need to do some online shopping and have things shipped to the Nelson Marina.

We made a call into Greg from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. He had unfortunately needed some minor surgery in Perth and was home for a quick stint. It was really nice to talk to him and it kept B occupied while I wandered around the Four Square and shopped for what we needed. B’s favourite words to me at the supermarket when I’m provisioning the boat are “Do we really need that? We don’t have room!”. I like to ensure we have more than we need and that we definitely don’t run out of essentials. You know, things like toilet paper! We were heading to Nelson after this, so I only needed to worry about the next two weeks. Still, we bought enough to require a trolley to transport it all back to the boat.

The laundry is always an interesting one – most likely because I don’t do it very often! It’s always been a blue job in our house. I had the sheets, towels etc. in the laundry bag and walked up to the laundry room. It’s not that far, but we always seem to be on the end of the marina pier and the laundry room is about another 500 metres away! And it’s as I arrive that I realise that I need an access card to get into the room. I walked back to the Marina Office, halfway back to the boat, and ask them for a key. I walked backed to the laundry room to realise I’d forgotten the laundry detergent. Grrr…  back to the boat. Normally it’s the coinage you need to operate the machines that I also forget to take. At least, thanks to the advice from Ms. Wilson, we do have plenty of change on board, even if I do leave it on the boat. I finally get myself into the laundry room to find the machine already whirring away with someone else’s washing. “Really?”. Ah well, I put our bright red laundry bag on the floor in front of the machine to indicate that I’m next! So this chore took me about 4 times as long as it should have, but I got there in the end.

Havelock Laundry

With the boat all stocked up and the laundry done, it was now time to fill our bellies. We walked the supermarket trolley back to the store and found a restaurant for an early dinner. Our choice, The Captain’s Daughter.

Havelock is well known for their mussel farms and therefore the mussels on offer are always fresh as could be. I ordered a platter of mussels in their half shells and grilled to share. They included toppings were Parmesan, garlic butter, spiced coconut and plain. B, of course, had to try their chowder. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to take photos before we ate the entrees but you can see from these that we liked them.

For the mains, B opted for the fish and I had the salmon linguine. Both were very nice.

The next morning we cleaned the ship. B did the bathrooms and bed making and I the vacuuming, galley and saloon.

Our next guests had flown all the way from Auckland to Nelson to come on board for only 2 days! With these two, I’d rather that than no days, but we all knew that we were going to make the most of it. The weather had been very grey and dreary and was still so on their arrival. Pete and Kirsten had been up since 5:30am to make the trek south. A coffee was definitely in order.

B and I had not had any breakfast with all the prep and excitement of our pending guests. Having had such a good experience there last time with the kids, we thought we’d go back to the Slip Inn for some sustenance.

Slip Inn.png

But before heading to the cafe we thought we better get our guests settled into their new home for the next two nights. Kirsten was so happy to find a life jacket on her bed that she came straight back outside wearing it!  “Safety first” she proudly announced! This was going to be fun.

Reso in Havelock Marina.png

They arrived ladened with wine and our order of a caseload of Nespresso coffee capsules! Thanks guys!

Breakfast at the cafe was a mixed affair but I really don’t think it would have mattered where we were. I tried ordering the Corn & Potato Stack with an extra egg to be told that I couldn’t get an extra egg. The meal only comes with one egg. I said I was happy to pay for an extra egg but that didn’t work either. Kirsten to the rescue, “Don’t worry, I’ll get poached eggs on toast and you can have one of my eggs. I only want one”.  Problem solved, waitress happy and off we went on our coffees. When the meals arrived, we both had two eggs! Hmmm…  ah well, you can’t win them all. Better than no egg.

Back on board and ready to roll we needed to head back out the crazy, shallow and zig-zaggie channel.

I was questioning Captain B if he had it sorted. Pete said not to worry as B was playing space invaders navigating our way back out again and watching the track dots from our previous path into the marina. Smart move!

Pete on the deck leaving Havelock

A number of the locals had told us not to bother going up the Kenepuru Sound as “there wasn’t much up there”. It was the only part of this area we hadn’t explored and I had always wanted to see Portage from the water. This was the place we walked over the hill to from the Queen Charlotte Sound when my tramping boots fell apart. We warned Pete and Kirsten of what people had said but they were more than happy to give it a go with us. And boy, were we glad we did! The sun had come out and we found our own little paradise.

Our first anchorage was in Ferndale Bay.  A gorgeous bay all to ourselves.

Ferndale on our own.png

It was only fitting that we start off with some bubbles. Accompanied by my ‘tortilla’ crackers and artichoke dip.

Bubbles

Pete and Kirsten wasted no time at all and started teaching us how to play Rummy. I had played a simpler version years ago but this was great. 7 cards in your hand, a pick up pile, a throwout pile and a number of face-up piles you make with everyone’s cards. The objective of winning is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards. Like any game, there are many other rules including what we now call ‘boat rules’ that are slight adjustments or additions to existing rules to make the game go smoother, faster or easier.  Once someone has ‘Rummied”, the rest of the players must count up the score based on the numbers on the cards left in their hand. If anyone ‘Rummies’ three times in a row, their overall score is set back to zero.

God knows how, but I managed to win the first game. 5 Rummies overall and three in a row late in the game. B managed a grand score of 249!

First game of Rummy

The sun had come out fully now so we all decided to get in the water for a swim. As for Captain B, he had to scrub the boat based on his card game loss!

No rest for the wicked and it was onto the next game of Rummy, appropriately accompanied by a beautiful Chardonnay.  And this time Kirsten had decided that the training wheels were off and she beat us big time and I was up for scrubbing the boat this time! Luckily for me, B had just done that and so there wasn’t much to scrub at all.

Jodi Pete and Kirsten

It was now dinner time. We had got some venison out of the freezer to cook on the BBQ and made a lovely mushroom sauce. While things were getting ready, I realised that I had cooked some sausages up at breakfast time for a snack. I’d left them in the microwave – ooops! They made a yummy pre-dinner snack with the even more gorgeous Karikari Chardonnay.

We made a lovely salad to go with the venison. Kirsten whipped up her Dijon Vinaigrette as a dressing – it was so good and I now have the recipe! Thanks!

The evening was filled with lots of music, discussions on current topics like #metoo (especially in the film industry, which Pete & Kirsten know all about), general chit chat and lots of laughter! The night was clear and the stars were shining brightly. Just like when you go camping, the stars are so much brighter when you are out on the water and away from all the night lights.

In the morning we cruised out towards Mills Bay for breakfast.

On the way, we started talking about the different foods we like and don’t like. Kirsten said she didn’t really like bacon and, actually, anything fried or processed. My plan for a breakfast fry-up was now out the window! I was planning on scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, tomato and avocado. Hmmm… better change tack real quick. There was a lot of positive chat about granolas so this morning’s breakfast was homemade yoghurt with paleo granola and fresh fruit – apricots and blueberries.

Mills Bay also had a number of Mussel Farms inside it. We were all keen for a feed and especially one that was fresh from the sea. The sun was out in full force and the bay calm. We put the paddle boards in the water.

Action Shot

The boys decided to take the boards with a bucket to the mussel beds to see what they could muster. We were told years ago that the farm owners do not mind people taking the mussels from the top ropes as these are not harvested.

Pete and B off for mussels

After a wee while looking at clean ropes on the first farm, they headed off to another one. Kirsten and I went for a swim and relaxed a bit. One of my plans for exercising on the boat was to do some long swims. I decided it was time to try on my wetsuit to make sure I could still get into it! Not a long swim this time but all the gear checked out perfectly – phew! I even discovered a brand new Lululemon top that I had forgotten I had and it was perfect for paddle boarding. Stoked. Just like Christmas really.

The boys had a successful haul at the second farm and came back with a lovely bucket full of small, black mussels. B cleaned and “de-bearded” each and every one of them ready for our dinner.

Pete got in the dinghy and took some photos of the boat with his special wide-format camera. Thanks Pete!

Pete taking photos from the dinghy

It was a scorcher of a day so it wasn’t long before everyone was in the water. Luckily Pete has Lululemon swimming shorts so they dry the instant he gets out of the water! (Sorry, private joke there).

It was time to leave this bay and continue on our exploration of Kenepuru. We thought Taken-in Bay would be a good one for the night so headed that way. Kirsten and I sat on Teak Beach while we were underway and talked a lot. Funny that. Pete came to let us know that they were worried about us burning ourselves and did we have sunscreen on. Good point, thanks – until we got inside and realised that the boys were actually hungry and it was a ploy to get us inside to make some food. They both swear this was not the case and couldn’t believe we would even think such a thing. They had our best interests at the forefront of their minds! We’ll leave that one there.

We did make some snacks and decided to anchor by a point when we saw fish on the sonar in a hole. We threw a very lazy line out and got snacking. And look at that, it was Rose’o’clock too! Suffice to say we caught no fish.

Kirsten tried her hand at driving the boat to our next destination. Best done for the first time after a Rose or two I say!

Kirsten driving Reso

Take-in Bay was yet another stunning one and, again, we had it all to ourselves. I’m not sure why people were talking about Kenepuru Sound the way they were.  Our two anchorages were outstanding and we enjoyed the scenery as nice as any we had seen so far on the trip!

Best night ever in Taken-in Bay

Pete and Kirsten had also brought us a wonderful jar of gherkins. But not just any gherkins, they were the Bella ones. We had the famous Pam’s brand of gherkins on board and were informed that we were obviously a bit ignorant. So we went on to do a blind taste test. There was definitely a difference, I just couldn’t tell which was which! The gherkins connoisseurs were keen to educate our gherkin palates. It used to be all about wine, and then it was olives and now its gherkins?

Bella Gherkins.png

Anyway, I had seen a snack idea online about crumbed gherkins. Keen to give it a try, I crumbed a plate of gherkins to fry and served them as a snack with Peri Peri Sauce and some blue cheese. Both were delicious.

It really was one of the prettiest evenings we had experienced.

We were very excited about our mussel dinner but all agreed that another game of Rummy was needed before the meal. And this now brings me to the evil move mean people pull when about to Rummy! You can put down your final cards out and rummy whenever you choose.  A really mean person (or someone who is just really good at the game) will hold onto that last card until the person to their left picks up their next card. They’ll be stuck with it and the “evil one” will be hoping they have just picked up a picture card or a ten! Note to self – never, ever sit on the left-hand side of Kirsten! Pure evil, girlfriend!

Kirsten going in for the kill

Pete was our water boy tonight. We agreed that we should have one glass of water for each glass of wine. He was a very busy man. My quote of the night “Pete, I need another glass of water please.”  That became a proxy for “I’m having another glass of chardy”! But thank you Pete, as I’m sure you helped us feel better the following morning!

The girls made a salad while B prepared and cooked the mussels in what we all said was the best broth we had ever had (I think a whole bottle of white wine disappeared into the pot as well as a few other ingredients). The mussels were truly divine. Fresh as could be and oh so tender. We had a Misha’s Pinot Gris to wash them down.

Mussel Pot

Ok, we’d enjoyed the best mussels ever, the sunset and the stunning views but it was time for another Rummy challenge. Being a quick learner, I made sure I sat on the right-hand side of the evil child. This was war! The conversation and laughter continued all night long.

To help things along, B opened up a Stony Ridge Larose 2008 for the occasion.

Larose 2008

The following morning was a little slower than the one before. A good coffee and everyone was ready to roll again. We still had some of the Kenepuru Sound to explore and that included driving past Portage. Before we headed out, it was agreed that we’d have the scrambled egg breakfast planned for the day prior minus the sausages.

We cruised past Portage and around the remainder of the Kenepuru Sound.

Kenepuru Sound - Heading to Havelock

Kirsten and I sat on Teak Beach again the whole way back, having some great conversations about friendships, relationships and life. This time we put sunscreen on so we wouldn’t be called inside again!

Jodi and Kirsten on Teak Beach

The channel was now quite familiar to us now, however, Captain B remained cautious as I would expect as Chief Safety and Compliance Officer. I managed to get some photos of him parking the boat this time.

Thank you, Pete and Kirsten for the most fabulous fun filled 48 hours. I wish it were longer but, then again… I’m not sure that would be a healthy option for any of us! We really loved having you on board and can’t wait to see you again! x

Pete and Kirsten at Ferndale

Click here to see our ‘up to the minute’ track on the map

 

Whanau fun in the Pelorus Sound

The ‘kids’ arrived in the A1 Shuttle from Blenheim airport.  It was so lovely to see them and, after hugs all around, it was on to the good ship Resolution.  When I say kids, we have Katie, and her partner Sam, who are 26 and Jen who’s 23. B’s mom still calls us the kids, so I’m figuring it’s ok.

The weather was not forecast to get any better overnight so we decided to stay at the marina for another night.  Everyone had lived it up over the New Year period so no one was complaining about a chilled evening.  There was the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club down the other end of the marina and we hadn’t had a chance to check it out yet.  Sam and Jen were up for a walk so we headed down to take a look.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to look at in terms of a sailing club but taking a look in the water from the wharf was fun. Jellyfish everywhere!

There was another entrance to the walking track that we had taken a few weeks back, so up we went. Not really prepared for a full-on walk and all in jandals, we just kept on walking.  We ended up in Bobs Bay.

The tide was low and we all thought a walk around the shoreline would be the best way back to the boat.  Jandals and wet rocks angled into the sea do not make a great combination.  B blew his jandal apart, however, I was able to stick it back together.  It was a slow walk home!

We took the kids to Oxley’s for dinner and everyone was more than happy with their meals.

When we got back, Sam managed to get himself stuck in the bathroom.  The bathroom door shut just fine but re-opening was a problem!  It was very funny at first but when it became clear that it wasn’t an easy fix, things got a little serious.  B and Sam worked through the problem for a good hour, got some tools out and finally Sam was released.  Sam is a builder so it was kind of ironic for him to be the one stuck in there.  B got to use his electric tools and that always makes a boy happy.

The following day, Jen, B and I hiked back into town to head to the supermarket.  From our marina berth, we would use the over-bridge into town.  Quite a steep number and it gave you a great view of across the marina. Tonight’s high tide is what they call a King Tide. This occurs when there is a full moon or a new moon and the moon is closest to the earth. The extra gravitational pull creates a very, very high tide. From the bridge, we could see that it had started to flood the car park and it looked like some boats were parked in it!

Shopping requirements – 5 people on board for 8 days before we’ll see another shop. I always start my provisioning plan with breakfast and eggs. 5 people each eating 2 eggs per day is 80 eggs and a few more for crumbing fish and making other eggs based meals.  That’s at least 7 dozen! I did a similar calculation of the other fresh items we wanted. I miscalculated on the fresh corn and asked Jen to get 10 corncobs. In my head, I had thought one cob cut in half for each person would be plenty. I now had double what I thought. Two trollies full later, we were through the checkouts and done.

This time the supermarket’s van service with a driver and one passenger seat was all go.  We misunderstood where we were to meet him exactly. It was taking a while so I went back in to check. Sure enough, we were on the wrong side of the supermarket (not knowing there was a side door and a back car park!) and he’d already been and gone!.  We raced around and waited for him to be called back up to return to get us.  He was not a happy camper.  Jen and I were quick to say that we’d walk back to the marina. We agreed that if anyone could cheer up such a grumpy sod, it would be Mr. B. Jen and I got to the marina just as B was offloading the bags into the trolleys. Perfect timing. In checking in with B to see if he cheered the fella up, it was a definite no. The guy was not into speaking at all.  So I think the supermarket has the service they provide ‘on point’ in terms of function but just forgot about the customer service element.  It was free so no complaints.

The weather was still not playing ball so it was one more night in the marina.

But in the morning we were leaving Picton, and this time for good. The plan was for one further night in the Queen Charlotte Sound and then off to Pelorus Sound the following day.

Having heard people on the VHF radio all day, every day, calling up Lochmara Lodge, we thought we better go and take a look.  We had starved ourselves – well, that might be a slight exaggeration – we basically didn’t have breakfast and decided on an early lunch at the lodge.

Lochmara

Like Ferneaux Lodge, they have a number of moorings for guests and a tender service. The lodge also has a Marine Observatory and a Wildlife Recovery group. Where were they when Shaggy needed them? Lochmara Lodge is nestled in Lochmara Bay directly north of Picton. There is no way to get to the lodge by road so water taxis, private boats and jet skis are it.  There is a 3.5km walking track that meets up with the main Queen Charlotte Sound walkway. They also have a number of accommodation options. They have a saying about Lochmara – “Once discovered, never forgotten”.  I’m sure these memories are different for all but I can definitely state that they are very welcoming and we will remember our visit fondly.

We radio’d up our lift and within minutes we were on land. We were a little early for the lunch but they were happy to take our orders and get us some drinks.  It is funny having Aucklanders in “un-metro” places like Lochmara when the coffee order is taken.  “Almond milk flat White please”, “Soy milk flat white please”, “Decaf long black please”, “The strongest coffee you have please – triple shot flat white in a mug would be great”.  Wow, are we diverse, different or downright annoying? They didn’t even blink so I’m sure it’s becoming the norm. Still makes me giggle though.

Family shot with Reso

Lunch was divine. Katie, Jen and I had the chicken and quinoa salad, B had the Seafood Chowder and Sam the burger.  Everyone was stoked with their meals.

Now that our bellies were happy we all agreed we needed to check out the Marine Observatory. The next session was in about an hour’s time. We bought tickets and used our spare time to look around the property. There was the parrot, Banjo.

Banjo

We all tried our hand at speaking to him so he would talk back. No results. We continued to watch other visitors come and try their luck too. Until we realised that the parrot doesn’t talk at all but the lodge had put a sign up for everyone to try. Cruel. There were punga trees with ‘faces’ on them, hammocks and a bit of touristy information on the area.

The time came to see the Marine Observatory. We started in the lagoon area with the marine biologist who put some fish in the water to attract the stingrays that hang around. And who wouldn’t if you got hand fed three times a day? They came over our feet and we were able to feed them from our hands. Very cool. We even got to pat them and they were so much softer than I would have thought. I have a very different view of stingrays now. Rather than swimming like a maniac away from them if I did ever come across one, I’d simply swim my normal slow pace back to the boat. I wouldn’t try to hand feed them out in the bays that’s for sure!

After the stingrays had their fill, we were into the observatory. It’s only been going for about 18 months and will develop naturally over time.  I was very impressed by the marine life that it already had within it. We finally got to see some crayfish in the Sounds!

There was even a greedy little King Shag who managed to dive down to the feeding tube and gobble up the most by miles!

We wanted to go around the top of Cape Jackson and Port Gore to travel into the Pelorus Sound the following morning, so we opted to anchor back in the bay past Patton Passage where we stayed a week or so earlier in similar conditions .

Given we had so much corn we put that at the centre of our meal plan!.  The kids have always loved fajitas and we had all the ingredients. Tortillas, chicken, avocado, tomato, sour cream etc. Which has just reminded me that we also had this with Leah on her last night.  We didn’t have salsa so we made one – worked a treat. B has a favourite recipe for the corn. Jen cooked it slightly in the microwave and then B finished them off on the BBQ slightly blackening them and rubbing them with Peri Peri Mayonnaise and Parmesan. So yum!

It couldn’t have been better weather for our passage from Queen Charlotte Sound around to Pelorus Sound. We got a great look at the lighthouse on Cape Jackson too.

As we entered Pelorus Sound we saw a boat fishing along cliffs off of Cape Lewis. Everyone was keen for a fish so we went to check it out. Also looked like a great dive spot but with all the travelling we had done, we decided fishing was enough for today.

The weather was stunning and everyone had a go at catching some dinner. Fishing was fruitful and we took 3 Blue Cod and 1 Terakihi.

Cod and Terakihi.png

We headed into Bulwer Bay for the night. Absolutely stunning evening. The girls got the paddle boards in the water and they were off.

Girls Paddle Boarding in Wiona

A wonderful afternoon of sunbathing, reading and chatting. And an old favorite on the boat is a good game of Bananagrams. Serious stuff.

Banarama

B filleted the fish on the back of the boat. Keeping all the ‘yikky’ ‘smelly’ stuff out of the cockpit.  We have a fiberglass bait/filleting board that was custom made for the wood railing on our boat that sits there permanently (although it can be removed if need be). It has a plastic chopping board inside it, a hole for the salt-water hose and a hole for a knife. Both the baseboard and the chopping board have the official catch size measure sticker across them.

I decided to crumb some of both the cod and the terakihi and do the remainder in butter. We added a Rocket, Pear and Walnut Salad for “our greens”.

A perfect evening for a wee rose and chats after dinner.

Jodi and B in Bulwer Bay at night

Waking up the next day, the water was as flat as it could be. You can’t have this and not go for a paddleboard.

I was keen to check out the salmon farm on the other side of the bay. It was only about a 15-minute paddle before we were alongside the farm. Quite different from the mussel farms, which you would expect given they are a cage of fish and not simply seeded ropes. But what really surprised us was the presence of 6 seals lounging around on the nets above the farms. Captain B surmised that there was nothing the fishery could do as you’re not allowed to disturb them.

Nicely warmed up from the paddle, I jumped in the water to cool down. It was so much warmer than it had been in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

While we were gone, Jen made us all breakfast. Love it when that happens. Thanks Jen!

After breakie, Jen did some “paddleboard yoga”. Very impressive.

Jen doing yoga on the paddle board

We anchored in the most gorgeous spot called Duffers Reef. B and I were keen to go for a dive while the kids sunbathed and read on Teak Beach.

Our dive again produced no crayfish. We found lots of scallops but with the current ban on them, we weren’t allowed to pick them up. Very disappointing. A number of people had said we’d find it hard, if not impossible to find crayfish in the inner part of the Sounds. And they were right. Tons of friendly blue cod though!

After the dive we moved closer to some rocks with better shelter for lunch. The weather was still stunning and our boat was empty of fish again. We opted for more! This time we got 6 fish in quite a short period of time and thought it was plenty. Our quota with 5 on board would have been 10, but we only like to catch what we are about to eat.

Our anchorage tonight was in Wiona Bay – a little settlement of baches and farms (both in the water and on the land). B filleted the fish while the kids played games, laughed and hassled each other a bit. Just what siblings do. As the girls were spending lots of time together, Sam got to do a lot of reading. I think he nailed 3 books while on board!

Sam Reading.png

The bay was beautiful but like so many in the Sounds, it was full of jellyfish.

Fish tacos for a very late lunch or an extremely early dinner – take your pick.  Sam is not a great seafood fan so we did some Venison kebabs as an alternative. Both were yum. I made some homemade tartare sauce.

Another great evening for sitting on Teak Beach with a rose.

With our electrical issues, we are now being very diligent that if we need to use the microwave or use the jug (230-volt appliances), we must turn the generator on first. I did this and after a while, a very high-pitched alarm started. So high pitched that, with the music going, it was really hard to hear it. We finally clicked on to it being an alarm and looked on the panel. The generator raw water flow light was lit up red.

B had an idea of what it might be and jumped into the lazarette where the generator lives. Sure enough, he discovered that there was something blocking the strainer on the inlet of salt water used by the generator to cool. It was completely clogged by a jellyfish! There were so many around, it actually wasn’t surprising. But, it was a mess to clean up. The poor jellyfish are literally mostly made up of water. So… one going through a filter like that was rather mushed. I’d like to say in clearing out the strainer that we had rescued it, but I’m not sure the sludge we put back into the water would constitute a jellyfish.

I called for B’s famous omelettes for breakfast the next day. I chop up and prepare all the fillings – fried onion & peppers, chopped ham, tomato, mushroom and grated cheese. Then it’s B’s turn in the galley to whip up individual omelets. Still amazes me just how many ways you can cook eggs. And these omelettes are to die for.

Omellete

After breakie we traveled to Cissy Bay in Harlem Cove for a look. We picked up a club mooring even though we had no intention of staying for very long.

It was really windy so we moved to Penzanze Bay in Tennyson Inlet, which was quite suburban. Much more shallow, different waters, and no cell coverage. Again we picked up a club mooring.

Katie had let us know that she had a work call to make at 1pm and could we please be by some cell or internet coverage. At the time she asked we were pretty sure there would be some service near Tennyson Inlet, given it was so suburban, but absolutely nothing.  At 12:40pm we dropped the mooring and ventured out into the middle of the channel until we picked up a signal. I spent that time with my nose in the comms cupboard under the pilot station until I could see 4 bars on the router. As soon as we had a consistent reading I called to Captain B to drop the anchor!

Router

Kate got to make her call and 20 minutes later we were off again. This time to Ngawhakawhiti Bay which was one of the most stunning bays so far.

We put the big tender in the water and the kids went for a spin.

Sam and Katie on Tender

B & I went for a paddleboard around the bay. We saw a number of stingrays and fish. There was another couple on their boat across the way. The lady kept taking photos of us which at the time I thought was quite odd. When we chatted with them she explained that she was doing a photography course and her theme was Sport. I cracked up laughing and said that I wasn’t sure we would be her best models. She said if we were to fall in it would make a great action shot. Thanks love, but no.

Last week Leah had been saying to me that she loves watching people getting off paddleboards, especially straight onto a boat. Mean girl. But when B went to grab the side of the boat and the board went from under him, I could see why. I did make sure he was ok before laughing hysterically. Sorry B. Since he was already in the water, I decided I might as well go swimming too.

We needed another dinner that would go well with corn as an accompaniment. It was to be a super duper pot of Chilli. B is a whiz at chilli but instead of him making it, I did so under instruction. And of course the recipe calls for some red wine. B chose a bottle that would be good for the chilli and even better to go with it. One for the pot, two for Captain B etc.

The one thing we didn’t stock up enough of, was milk. We had read in the guide that there was a lodge relatively close to where we were heading that had not only a shop for supplies, but also a bar. Surely that means a pool table too! Ti Ora Lodge. Keen as mustard, we headed that way. It had started to rain and clouds were coming in. A little gloomy. After ensuring we’d go back and get her if we wanted to stay a while, Jen opted to stay on board while the rest of us got in the dinghy and headed over.

As we got close to the wharf, we could see a closed gate with a sign on it. It asked us to call a number before entering. With no cell coverage, we took it upon ourselves to go right in.  Ok… I can only explain this place as a little weird, odd, or strange. There was no one in sight. We found what looked to be a reception area but still no life. And then I heard a dog barking. By now, we had convinced ourselves that there was something quite wrong and jumped like crazy when I heard the dog. B had entered the building and was trying to find some life. Just inside the door was a rack of animal skins. The only positive in my mind at this point was the fact that they were not human skins! I said to Katie and Sam that I better go inside and make sure B was ok. It was like I’d walked into a bar in a ghost town. There was nothing in the beer fridge and the pool table, although it looked to be quite old, looked like no one had played on it since 1977.

I then heard some voices and tracked them into a side room next to the ‘bar’. The guy with B explained that they no longer have a store and the bar is not open. They are a lodge and had two guests fly in the day prior. We had seen the landing strip to the right of the lodge from the boat. He walked us through the kitchen and out to a deck where the couple were having their lunch. I said we totally didn’t want to intrude and should be on our way. If there was no bar, even a milk bar, we’re out of there. But no, he announces to his wife that he’d like to take us around the property. The strange feeling was still very much present and I quickly had a chat with Sam to make sure he was on full alert in case this got a bit funny.

After a circle of the property and lots of commentary about how amazing it was, we ended up looking up the hill where there was a massive white cross. Even though I asked, he wouldn’t go into any detail about what it actually was, and just said that there was a walkway ‘up there’.  Hmmm… ok. Then it was down to the lodging area where he has Woofers staying.  (Apparently, Woofers are volunteer organic farm laborers that give their time in exchange for food, lodging, and learning).  We got to meet two of the Woofers and could identify them easily as they all had long blue overalls on. Ok. We had to be quite persistent and say we really must get back to Jenny. The lady Woofer offered me peacock feather as a memento. I politely declined saying that we really can’t clutter the boat up with things. I think I may have offended them.

The owner walked us all the way back out to the wharf where, thankfully, our dingy was still tied up. I insisted he get back to his guests but no, he wanted Bennett’s name, the name of our boat and then continued to take photos of us taking off in the dinghy! We all know that noise travels with the wind and sometimes quite far out on the water, so we all just gave each other knowing looks until we were back safely on Reso. Ironically, Jen came out and said “I was just starting to get worried about you guys”. Of course, we were like “And you should have been”! After relaying the story to Jen and adding each of our stories as to what that place is really about, there was laughter all round and an agreement to get the hell out of the bay. I thought it was a commune, Katie a swingers retreat and B a Christian organic farmstay. A bit on the dramatic side, but I added that perhaps the Woofers wanted to give us a peacock feather so we could see their note attached to the end saying “Help us”!

The guy did ask me to tell everyone about their lodge, so this is me telling you all about the lodge. Not somewhere I would recommend myself unless you want to be a blue overall suited Woofer of course.

The next bay around, Wilson Bay, was also in the guide (I must get the publishers to update the guide about stores etc!) and said it had a store and a bar. A bit afraid of what this all means in this neck of the woods, we decided to give it a go. We were in need of milk after all. It used to be called the Boatel but has recently changed its name to the Lodge at Te Rawa. What a difference this place was.

Firstly, they had an ice cream sign, which got everyone (except me) excited. We were welcomed on the wharf by a lovely Scottish lady Anne and she showed us straight to the ice creams. It was raining so into the bar we went. This one even had drinks in it!  What a difference a bay makes. Anne and her husband Robert had been living in Dubai for the last 17 years and bought the lodge after last season.  It is all very new to them they were still finding their feet.

Te Rawa Lodge

Another couple of groups turned up and there were ‘hellos’ all around and drinks started flowing. B and I decided to have a bottle of Rose to join in. We started chatting with one of the groups. We met Andrew, Jo, Andrew, Jo, and Mary. Mary apologised to us for being from Auckland. I laughed and said “no need, so are we”. That made her feel comfortable. Andrew and Jo (the first couple, yeap they were both called Andrew and Jo) and their dog Leo was lovely. B and I set off asking them for local knowledge about the area. Andrew’s family are descendants and early settlers in the area and they have had their property for about 30 years.

After the first bottle, the kids went back to the boat and Sam said he’d keep an eye out for when we were ready to come back and he’d pick us up in the dinghy. We had our own private tender driver! By this time it was teeming with rain.

When we got back to the boat the kids explained that they went to use the jug to make a cup of tea, started the generator first and the alarm went again. This time, they knew exactly what it was and turned the generator off immediately. Given the bay was carpeted with jellyfish, we were pretty sure it had sucked up another one. A quicker fix this time knowing what it was. Another jellyfish turned to slush. Sorry dude.

They had heated up the leftover chilli for their dinner and were now right into reading.

After talking with Jo and Andrew we had planned to anchor in Stafford bay where their house was. Heading into the bay it was obvious that this plan was not going to work the wind was howling right into the bay. We went to Mary’s Bay (not the Mary we just met but the bay) across the way.  Once safely anchored, B and I had the rest of the left-over chilli. It always tastes so much better the following day! And a perfect meal for a grotty day outside.

Rainy Weather

After an episode of Black Mirror completely freaked me out, it was off to bed to be awoken in the middle of the night with nightmares!

We had talked with the hosts at Te Rawa about coming back for breakfast. Next morning we all agreed that we should give it a go. Support the local guys trying to make a go of it in their new venture. No cooking for me and no dishes for everyone else. Perfect plan. They were pleased to see us.

Reso outside Te Rawa.png

After yet another complicated coffee order and a review of the menus, it was ordering time. Sorry, we have not fruit. Sorry, we have no sausages. Hmmm… ah well, all good. It wasn’t the most gourmet breakie but we woofed it down and didn’t need to do the dishes! Enough said.

We didn’t stay long after breakfast and it was our last day together. We went over and looked at the famously cute Dillan Bell Cove, but decided not to stay there. B chose another one called Chance Bay. A very weird area that was big, open, much shallower and with the current weather, very moody. The Harbour Master was anchored there until they got called away. A few other boats were around but otherwise a very, very quiet place.

With the weather not being that kind to us, we decided on a game of Monopoly. These games can end in one of two ways. Appropriately ok or in tears! Not really tears but we have had some games on board that end in what you would call close to a family disaster. Katie became the banker (through having the box of money on her lap rather than volunteering) and off we went. We won’t go into details but the game was not without its excitement, drama and frustration. A victory to Captain B this time! Sam spent his money in record time and was out the back door first. Jen couldn’t get over the new rules of not putting all the tax money in the middle and collecting it when you land on Free Parking (I’m with her on that one), I was getting annoyed that although I had prime property that no one was landing on it and Katie just thought we were taking it all a bit too seriously.

Monopoly Challenge.png

While dinner was getting ready B thought he’d start the generator to help top up the batteries. When we do this, we also get the water-maker going. This takes in seawater and desalinates it into good quality drinking water. No extra purifying required. Another piece of gold on the boat. And with three girls on board, water is certainly something we need more of.

Dinner was ready and B thought he’d turn the water-maker off so we could also turn the generator off. It’s actually not a loud generator, but it does make enough noise to ruin the tranquil environment. B went down to the lazarette and started making noises that something wasn’t right. Water was pouring into the lazarette! As much as we love having water on board, we certainly don’t want it coming in and filling up the hull of the boat. The fresh water hose from the water-maker to our tanks had somehow popped off and was spewing 200l/hour of fresh water everywhere! So while we thought we were filing our water tanks, we were actually filling up our boat!

Fortunately, it must have only recently occurred as it hadn’t filled the bilge and triggered the bilge pumps! B got into ‘fix it’ mode which unfortunately including removing everything from the lazarette to dry out!

Soon, the hose was reconnected, most stuff was packed away in the lazarette again and those things that needed drying out remained in the cockpit for the night. Well, that was annoying! Not to mention a delayed dinner!

To get into Havelock the following morning we needed to navigate our way through a very long, windy and shallow channel. Entering at high tide makes the most sense but we didn’t have another 6 hours to wait for that. We followed another boat in which funnily enough gives you a sense of security – it can so often be a false sense and that boat may have never entered the channel before either!  The channel markers are very clear and so are the patches of land just beside them! With all the logs and other debris in the water, it made the trip an interesting one for sure. We had 3 sets of eyes on everything to ensure nothing popped out to surprise us.

Once the boat was safely into the berth and the kids all packed up, we walked up to the Slip Inn restaurant, sitting at the base of the marina for a late brunch. A walk into town to check it out and to walk some of our meals off. It’s subtle, but obvious at the same time, that when we arrive into a new little town and go walking, we are also scouting out where to buy food, and where the closest chandlery, post office and pharmacy are. The kids got a little bored and opted to head back to the boat.

The Shuttle turned up around 3pm to collect the kids. They had a road trip to Blenheim and a flight home to Auckland. Hugs all round again and they were off.

It was a wonderful 8 days guys and I’m glad you got to see a different area of NZ from the boat.

Arohanui whanau. x