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Richard Austin

Sailing from Auckland to Marlborough Sounds

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We're looking at sailing down from  Auckland to the Marlborough Sounds in the next few months and was wondering whether anyone has published a cruising guide for the east coast of the North Island. Any input from anyone who has knows of where to locate a guide or who has experience of this passage would be much appreciated.

Richard

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Hi Richard, I've done this trip a few times. What would you like to know?

Normal process is to get down to Napier (pretty easy, plenty of stopping places if you want, jus make sure the forecast is good for east cape!), then wait at Napier if required,  for a good weather window and go. You do not want to get caught out by a southerly on the Wairarapa coast!! There are a few spots you can go in a NW, if you like.

Whats the boat?

Matt

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I have sailed from Auckland to Marlborough in Sept 2011 in our yacht, and circumnavigated the north island (clockwise) at Christmas this year starting from Marlborough Sounds. Happy to give any advice you specifically want, and happy for you to PM me. Have stopped all sorts of places along the way and worked out pretty quickly where is comfortable and whats not.

As per island time, what sort of boat and size?, how many crew have you got? have you got a timeframe to complete the trip?

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You'll find a reasonable level of information for the trip here: http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/New_Zealand

It's fairly basic stuff, charts to carry, ports you can visit, services available etc. I have to confess to being the person who has done much of the material for the East Coast, North Island, so any suggestions for improvement very welcome.

 

It's a terrific trip and lots of fun. Especially if you're not in a hurry. The scenery is awesome. Worthwhile going ashore at a bay or two on East Coast proper. By the time you get to Gisborne you might need a shower. The pub at the tiny marina have great free showers if you buy a beer. 

 

I'd also suggest you carry paper charts of all the ports. You never know when you might need to go in. Personally I just don't find a chart plotter gives me the big picture view needed of a harbour I've never or rarely entered before. Gisborne, for example, is particularly challenging at night, and the lights very confusing when coming from the north.

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We done that trip twice, both times via the west coast going south and return the second time via the the east and a long time previous as far as Gisborne and return. As always make sure the weather window is good and you will have no problems. We have stopped at Tom Bowling Bay, Spirits bay, Kaipara, New Plymouth on the west coast and Mayor, White island, Hicks Bay and Gisborne on the East coast. As others have mentioned places on the East  coast are plentiful in settled westerly conditions.  

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