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All three of the major rivers need on the coast need reat care and the best of weather before considering entering. Westport has a Bar that shifts, but it also has a Harbour master that can give you advise before entering. He can also Close the entry if deemed too dangerous, although the local Fisherman have " educated" Harbour Masters in relation to who deems whether the Mouth gets closed or not. 😉
Greymouth is deeper and I have never heard of it being closed. But the Seas can be spectacular and down right dangerous on that one. Hokitika I have never been too and cannot give accurate information. However, it was once the buisiest port in NZ during the Gold days and there is considered to be more Gold lying on the bottom of that Bar than anywhere else in NZ. Due to ships foundering on the Bar.

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I was in Hokitika a little while ago and looking at some historical info. Apparently they use to lose around 1 in 10 vessels trying to enter. The whole coast around the Hokitika river is very shallow, and I would think that sailing ships would be praying for a decent westerly to give them plenty of steerage way.[ and a high tide!.

The Grey is simply frightening when the river is running due to rain, with incoming vessels having to fight into about an 8 knot flow. Takes a long time to cross. I now realise why nearly all the fishing boats in the harbour were big ones! Mind you- I saw a skipper coming in quit nonchalantly, one hand on the wheel the other elbow on the window ledge looking quite relaxed. They breed 'em tough down there

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54 minutes ago, alibaba said:

The Grey is simply frightening when the river is running due to rain, with incoming vessels having to fight into about an 8 knot flow. Takes a long time to cross. I now realise why nearly all the fishing boats in the harbour were big ones! Mind you- I saw a skipper coming in quit nonchalantly, one hand on the wheel the other elbow on the window ledge looking quite relaxed. They breed 'em tough down there

There is a video around of a 70' trawler entering Greymouth, sneaker wave got it on the port quarter and she was upside down in a flash.

These pics are Dave Jackson's Karros II having some excitement trying to enter Greymouth, there is an even "better" picture in the SYC clubhouse

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Hokitika is for fizz boats only can walk across at low tide,westport and greymouth are good in fine weather today the grey was calm as had lunch there.when heading up coast from fiordland to farewell spit in a straight line you are a long way offshore so no point in going in really.

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Been in and out of Westport in a Lidgard Regardless drawing 2.1m at low water no problem. But it was a calm couple of days and no recent rain       . The dredge was still operating then. Not sure if it still does. We called the harbour master for advice before entering. 

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If I recall correctly Adrian Hayter author of Shelia in the Wind arrived in NZ via Greymouth, crossing the Grey river Bar in a small folkboat.

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Adrian Hayter crossed the Westport bar (not Greymouth) in I think 1956 after a 6 year voyage from England as outined in his book Shelia in the wind.

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Book has recently been republished and I am halfway through reading it. Haven’t got to the Greymouth bar bit yet but some of the other things he did make my hair stand on end! Bloody slow boat too.

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That book looks like a great read. Might have to try and find that one. Maybe we should start a crew.org book swap thread? I have hundreds and I'm sure others have as well. 

I'm off the the south island for a 2 week campervan trip next week. Hoping to check out both Greymouth and Westport. Havent been down the west coast by road since I was a kid, only a few times by boat.

Did kaikoura, marlborough and Nelson last weekend.

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6 hours ago, B00B00 said:

Maybe we should start a crew.org book swap thread? I have hundreds and I'm sure others have as well. 

Thats a good idea. I cleaned out a bunch of sailing books from my mums house over the last couple of weeks and gave most to the local hospice shop. But I have a couple "Auckland by the sea" "hauraki gulf" "mahurangi" that probably wouldn't have found a buyer here so I kept them to offer to anyone on the other side of the range to have for free or pass on to a north Auckland hospice. Was going to try and find someone on facetok or instawitter

 

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Very entertaining book. Adrian Hayter was either very brave or very foolish. Imagine setting off on a long ocean journey with a leak knowing that you have to wake up every two hours to spend half an hour pumping the bilges. He also had an uncanny ability to find either a new girlfriend or the red light district in every port! Must have been quite the charmer. Those were interesting times after WWII, with the world in turmoil and trying to rebuild. And young guys who were shaped by their war experience had nothing to lose, and plenty of adventuring to do...

 

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