Finally leaving Nelson

Well hello there!

Well… that was a slightly bigger break from the blogging than I had anticipated.  Sorry about that folks.  Apart from having a job and enjoying life back on land too much, I don’t really have any decent excuses.  We are about to embark on another exciting journey, so I am going to attempt to finish the blogging for the rest of the Figure 8 Circumnavigation around NZ before we leave.  The good news is that I did continue to take notes and lots of photos. My main reason for getting this done ‘after the fact’ is to be able to put together a photo book of the trip. And of course, put an end to the story.

To recap so you don’t need to go back and re-read the last blog, it was called “Abel Tasman Paradise” and we had returned back to Nelson to get ready to launch off to Milford Sound.  To make it ever so exciting, it was Valentine’s Day.  A day that usually means nothing but the old end date of the scallop season.  I had been hassling B to get romantic and take me out to dinner.  As to be expected, that resulted in an eye roll.

Prior to heading out to the Abel Tasman, I had thought that I had broken the screen on my phone and couriered it back to Auckland for repair.  It turned out it was only the glass cover that was broken – duh! So the second we were tied up securely back on the end of L Pier, I got the dinghy into the water and headed over to the office to get my phone. Very excited as you can imagine.

Ripping open the courier pack back at the boat, I was surprised that the phone was turned on!

When I got back to the boat, I saw traces of blood. B had cut his foot on the anchor which had a piece of metal sticking out of it – that darn anchor! The only way B usually knows that he has damaged himself is if I see blood. I say “Have you cut yourself?”. “I don’t know, why?”. Hmmm…..

It was an opportunity for me to use my nursing skills – not something I would ever charge anyone for, but he doesn’t have too much choice! At least this time the sticking plaster made it over the actual cut.

It was time for dinner and, of course, the restaurant of choice was our favourite little tapas bar, Urban.  And only fitting for Valentine’s Day, we started with champagne and some Te Matuku oysters.

Valentine's Day entree

After another gorgeous meal, we stumbled back towards the marina.  As we passed the local theatre, we decided to head in to the movies.  Always a good excuse for more wine and for B to have an ice-cream.  Didn’t really need the popcorn, but we were at the movies after all.  We watched “3 Billboards Outside of Massouri” which started off good but I found it hard to critique the second half as I decided to have a bit of a snooze.  Oh yes, oh so romantic.

The following day we got up really early, did some exercises, packed and headed to the airport to fly back to Auckland.  We had a week of meetings and catching up with family and friends.  I won’t go into all the details except to say we had a fabulous time and socialised like crazy as land lovers do.  Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what we (well I) got up to:

Flying back to Nelson, we picked up some more Asahi Zero Beer stock.

Asahi Beer

Thankfully my plants were all still alive when we returned!

Plants still alive

The work on the anchor was till underway and did not look a great sight. Nothing freaks me out more is to see the boat in bits like this days out from our planned departure.

As always, our actual departure was weather dependent.  We did, however, have two crew members flying down to join us for the big trip. B’s Coastguard colleagues Rae and Jaime.

B kept a close eye on the weather to ensure the planned weather window was still in place.  To keep our minds off the damn anchor, we invited Lindsay and Des over for a drink.  Lindsay brought some crackers with cheese and marmite and this time he wasn’t dressed up as a pirate!

At around 8pm that night, we had the new anchor winch installed.  It was the final state that we were after, but we were still waiting on one more part.

It was a stunning night in the marina.

Gorgeous night in the marina

One purchase I made in Auckland was a new duvet for the bed.

New duvet

After some simple snacks for dinner, I watched some Californication as B continued to play with getting the boat ready.

Saturday is Nelson market day.  So off we went to fill up our bags with some more stinky cheese, blueberries and pesto. Shopped at Countdown for eggs – 120 of them. And food for the weekend.

Stinky cheese.png

It was decided that we would head back out to the Abel Tasman to do a final ‘shake down’ of all the work that had been done prior to the big trip. Once again we had to avoid debris from the storm. Mainly logs and pieces of wood but this time we also had apples!  An apple truck has lost its load in the storm.

On arriving back into the Anchorage, the tourist kayakers had their sails up!

Kayakers sailing.png

I used the time out on the water to do a stock take of the freezer.

Freezer Stock Take.png

Neville, Stacey and Connor were also out on their boat so we were able to see them again.  They came for a drink and then later for dinner.  Cauliflower rice, Moroccan lamb on the BBQ, tomatoes and gorgeous beans from Stacey’s dad’s garden.

Connor practiced his rowing and tying of knots.

Blueberries, yoghurt, pistachios and maple syrup for desert.

Full scrambled egg breakfast with tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado and BBQ’d sausages.  We did a bit of a spring clean on the boat and then headed back into Nelson.

The next two days were filled up with provisioning the boat with food.  I made some more of my famous Low Carb Tortilla Crackers and pate.

Obviously, we had some time to spare to eat out at more of the great restaurants in Nelson!

A couple of nights prior to our planned departure we decided to check out the Tasman Bay Cruising Club at the other end of the marina.  A great community feel to the club.  Our food choices were not ideal, in terms of healthy choices, but when in Rome…

We were continually watching the weather windows and it was looking good for a 2nd March 2019 departure.

There were a few things to get sorted before we left, but it felt like this shit was getting real.