I reluctantly left Steward Island (again due to a short weather window and the need to get to Christchurch by the weekend) but couldn’t resist a swing by the cage diving shark guys – they were none too friendly (the guys and the sharks) however so I moved on quickly.
Foveaux Strait is another one of those places with a fearsome reputation, but once again I avoided the worst with a good weather forecast. There were some strong currents and a few magnetic anomalies that needed to be managed though.
After a day and a half, I motored up the dredged channel to Dunedin in the rain and cold. In contrast to the weather though, it is a warm and welcoming city.
I rafted up on the outside of Chris – a friendly local who is readying his boat for trips hunting and fishing to Fiordland and Stewart Island. Chris drove me for a surf and plied me with beer at every opportunity and offered the use of his truck if I needed it.
All too soon it was time to leave but only after a last minute spotting of a Luke 5 tonner – the same make and vintage as my old Sea Serenade. Obviously she had been sailed out here from the UK – could SS have made it all the way here?
Wind and tide were against me for the three hours getting down the channel, and a crawl into an anchorage up the coast in the dark meant early to bed on a rolly boat that night.
I left at dawn the next day and arrived in Akaroa a couple of days later having to leap-frog Oamaru due to the head winds. In saying that, I had a good sail into the wind for about 30 hours and I sailed all the way up the sound until I got t0 the anchorage.
Akaroa Yacht club proved to be extremely friendly offering free showers, wi-fi, washing and a mooring for a small fee for when Tigs is here.
There is Guinness on tap in the local pub too – what more could a man need?