Travel.P #22 – Sailing the Marlborough Sound

Good things take time, as they should. We shouldn’t expect good things to happen overnight. Actually, getting something too easily or too soon can cheapen the outcome.

John Wooden

When we left Wellington after a week and a bit, we were happy to continue sailing. If we would have been 2 month before our Cook Straight crossing, I would have been scared and would panic a little, but after the storm we were caught in, Ced and me shifted our boundaries. It is amazing how fast you learn through actual experiencing and how much you change through those experiences.

In the back you can see the DIY made fishing board, to have fast access to all the baits already prepared to get attached in a few seconds.

Covered in rain-safe clothes to avoid getting soaked by waves that climb on board. We used safety vests for a seat, they were really comfortable and did a good job.

Our cook straight crossing went nearly perfect. We had a bit of rain and in the morning a bit of a ruff sea, but later on it cleared up and we crossed without any trouble. Amazing feeling when you actually sail from North Island to South Island and cheaper as well, haha. We had waves coming from the west that we had to cross a bit, so we had to tack a couple times. I was surprised I didn’t become seasick, usually I lost my sea legs quite fast. Jules was scared and loaded with different impressions. He stayed most of the crossing under deck, and later on became seasick, where I had to smile a bit, because I knew exactly how he felt, but that part of the adventure.

Barracouta caught on our first day in the Sounds, not a lot of wind and rain.
Oii, another one. I was so proud, haha.

It took us a whole day to cross. When we arrived at the South Island we asked if the channel was clear, but there was ferry coming so we had to wait for it to leave between Arapawa Island and the mainland into the Cook Straight. It is a small channel, the entrance is around 600 meters wide, which is the distance that appears here and there again in the channel. We waited for the ferry around ten minutes while we slowly approached the channel. Than we saw it, a building with its lights shining at night bearing its way through the hills out of the channel. It looked magic and massive. Speeding close to us, past towards Wellington and soon out of sight. I was happy that we entered the channel without any trouble and let the anchor into the sea at Okukari Bay. We nearly hit another boat, because it was so dark and the other boat didn’t have its anchor light on. Before you go to sleep, you always check if there are boats around you that might be in reach of the length of your anchor and rope. We only saw one boat and went to sleep spent of the long day into a deep sleep. I was excited for the next day, to see experience the beauty, not like the speeding ferry. We woke up, surrounded by green and blue. Two houses were build in the bay where we stayed, it seemed they were part of a sea farm. Sea farms are not rare in the Sounds and appear here and there.

Jules – wild as the Barracouta

After a short breakfast we continued through the sound until we ended up at a holiday house on an island next to Double Bay. We had our view straight onto Snake Point, a thin amount of green forest land emerging slowly raising from the blue sea. The house was empty and we had a look around. When we wanted to have a look inside the house the alarm went off, and so we chilled the rest of the day outside, watching the nature of the sounds and walking around the small rocky beach in front of the house. Later on when the sun set we slept on the boat, from where we continued the next day. Fishing was incredible in the sounds. One time I was letting the rode out and during the process a fish already bate. The first time I really caught a fish. I got some really big ones before, but because I wasn’t patient enough they slipped just when I tried to pull them onto the boat. This day I caught two Barracuda that we had for lunch and dinner. One Barracudas flesh infected with worms, kind of parasites, so we used it for bait with that we caught a tasty Snapper. Good exchange.

View on the cloudy sounds

Sailing through the Marlborough Sounds was my favorite sailing experience. The scenery is simply beautiful, and it is super peaceful. There are nearly any houses. Heaps of possibilities to anchor with awesome hikes and views from Islands all around the Sounds. Mount Stokes with 1200 meters high and would give a great view over the whole area, and was beautiful to look at from the sea, raising into the clouds at some days.

The empty holiday house

On our second day we sailed past Blumine Island, Long Island and Motuara Island. We had good wind coming from the west, so that we had good speed into the Cook Straight again. Leaving the beautiful Queen Charlotte sound we were more exposed and sailed in ruffer conditions past Port Gore, Waitui Bay and in the end between the small Titi Island into Annie Bay at Forsyth Island. We arrived at sunset and spend the night and the next day in the bay, where we caught a small shark of the size of my leg. I left the fishing rod outside to have some fish for breakfast and over night there must have a small fish bitten into the bait, from that point we had a living bait that was than nearly swallowed by the small shark. Nearly swallowed because when we took the fishing rod in, surprised by its weight, we were able to just pull the shark of. He didn’t let go of the small fish that was hidden in his mouth. A shark skin feels ruff like a sandpaper and it is an amazing animal to look at. Beautiful. It was brown and black. I throw it back into the water and we ate the small fish instead for breakfast. From there we went exploring on the island, but more of that in my next blog.

The Island was beautiful, and a surprising walking track with benches and two beautiful look outs on top. Apparently it is a private Island that you could rent, but we explored it for free, haha. I will tell you about my first hunting kill on land and our run on the Island, amazing currents around the island and beautiful views over the sounds. I will tell you about ruff currents that we crossed and a nightmare of Miskito at night. Another house that we checked out, and nearly got caught, and a beautiful sunset.

Why don’t you stop eating crushed flower in bread and try to eat whole corn bread, like Schwarzbrot. It is very tasty and actually better for you.

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