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Cruising Skipper 43 Great Success


 Friday morning Dec 5th saw Cruising Skipper 43 meet at the Interislander terminal at 7.30 am or shortly thereafter with boxes of food, some bags of gear and wet weather gear that surely wouldn’t be needed for 3 sunny days in the Marlborough Sounds. On arrival at Picton, Compass Charters picked us up after collecting our bags and then a quick trip around to Waikawa for the formal paperwork for the Charter, an extra fishing rod and bait and a quick but long walk up to the campground shop for another packet of coffee when it was discovered on stowing provisions that one packet was unground beans, the back up plan was smash them up with the safety axe on board.


 After stowing gear and food and the safety briefing on board Bugamar, 13.4 meters, our luxury accommodation for the next few days we pushed off and executed a 180 degree turn in a pretty narrow space to get out of Waikanae Marina.

Once the sails were up, the Navigator was firmly ensconced below to guide the crew to destinations unknown…to them other than a name called Hitaua Bay, Tory Channel. With fishing rods over the back trolling lures and trying to pick every gust and wind shift it was off out the long way around Allports Island leaving it to Starboard.

cskip 3

Three Barracuda and 3 hours later we tried to sail into Tory Channel, the wind by now all over the place and non existent at times, as we headed into Hitaua Bay, the birds were feeding and Gannets’ diving behind us so with engine on we turned back for a troll through where all the small bait fish were jumping. Two minutes later and with something else on the line, probably another Barracuda we headed back to the bay and attempted to reel in at the same time. Kingfish time…just a small one, but just on the size limit. The problems of pulling a fish in on a Charter boat soon became apparent, no net and a very large dingy on Davits sideways across the transom making it impossible to get down the back onto the boarding platform. The dingy was let down, a big yank up into the cockpit with said fish, a firm handhold and a knife quickly dispatched and spread blood everywhere and then a few minutes later while still firmly gripping said fish (yes this is going to end badly) holing a bucket and scooping up water to wash off the blood and to then put the kingfish into with something on top. Well the boat zigged a bit on a wave, the fish gave off one last death throe and escaped a weak left hand grasp…plopped down onto boarding platform and slipped into the water through the 100 mm gap between the boarding platform and the dinghy. A desperate attempt, by jumping into the dinghy and plunging the right arm up to the armpit as the said kingfish sunk into the depths as a free feed for the barracuda only resulted in a touch and no retrieval…and no kingfish for dinner.

An evening of much relaxing, wine and cheese and crackers before a second choice of beef stir fry and fresh fruit salad and whipped cream and not to few beers and wines until around midnight.

Saturday morning arrived way to soon, but with sun and forecast 25 to 35 knots of NW, departing Hitaua Bay we had a nice long slog upwind to Patton Passage in the building NW, nailed a few kahawai on the way, kept two for dinner and let two go to be greeted by Hectors dolphins just before the narrow Patton Passage. It took more than 20 tacks to get upwind through the passage and then in to Wharehunga Bay for a good lunch and rest.
Setting off across Queen Charlotte towards Resolution we knew the wind was building when we had 56 knots apparent on the wind gauge, time for a little less Genoa.

Arriving into Resolution late afternoon we spent 45 minutes or so tacking all the way upwind to the moorings, all occupied, did a nice little sail by and decided to sail south and up Endeavour Inlet. The downwind was easy..soon to be replace by upwind again part way into Endeavour and up into Tawa Bay in solid 25 to 40 knots but with lots of sunshine for the second night. Flat calm but with big wind gusts coming off the hills it was definitely going to be a more settled night than out in the wind at Furneaux Lodge. Another evening of stories and lies, food including the fresh Kahawai and a few beers and wines and a slightly earlier night than previous. Morning, and once again I’m alone for the pre coffee swim and then a few anchoring drills before setting off upwind in another solid 25 to 40 knots to Furneaux which took a good hour and a half of tacking into the tide and wind. Needing to start our journey back to Picton it was a quick sail by and then gybe down wind, escorted by another pod of dolphins.
Exiting Endeavour with a forecast 25 to 35 Kn NW for a good run home and a 30 to 40 Kn Southerly change we suddenly ran out of wind, the change came early, 5 Kn of South on the nose, not great for getting Bugamar back to the marina on time so with heavy hearts we relented to starting the engine for an assist. The journey back improved as the South build a little to 10 knots at times and at others the cast iron sail took over as we slipped behind on our deadline. We took out our frustrations on a few more Barracuda on the way back.

Check out some additional photos and video from the trip.

Don’t miss the next one.


Activity Properties

Start: 06-Mar-2015 3:00 pm
End: 08-Mar-2015 3:00 pm
Capacity 6
Registered 5
Available places 1
Individual Price $799.00
Location Wellington Ocean Sports Centre
We are no longer accepting registration for this activity



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