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Auckland-Marlborough-Fiordland, Stewart Island Jan/Feb 2014


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We are taking our yacht, a Lagoon 450, from Auckland to Marlborough, Havelock about 15th Jan. Then to Fiordland and maybe Steward Island from about 8th Feb for about 3 weeks. Back to Auckland at the end of Feb, maybe direct or with a stop back at Havelock.

 

I just put this post up in case anyone was doing a similar trip at those dates and we could compare notes or catch up en-route? I have done a fair bit of preparation but any advice also most welcome!

 

Cheers

Dave

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The only comment I have is that it's not long enough time. You may squeeze in if you were going to Havelock, but forget Fiordland. Marlborough Sounds alone has 1500Km of Coastline. You have D'Urville Island which is stunning. Pelorous and Queen Charlotte Sounds which are stunning and Able Tasman which is stunning and all of which would take a year or more to really explore. Heading to Fiordland is another kettle of fish completely. You need time up your sleeve to get a weather window. Unless you don't mind getting a serious Arsewhipping by the weather.

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Thanks everyone.

 

Yes I wish I had more time bit that can be a luxury so I am seizing the opportunity with what I can get. My co-owner will be cruising the Marlborough Sounds for two weeks at the end of Jan then I will take Magique south. My great great uncle was the first harbour master of Otago Harbour, so I may get to see from a distance the excellent settlement he recommended at Martins Bay :shock:

 

Sundreamer, the picture below shows our max speed on a recent trip to Mangonui, so maybe we would be competitive? :D

 

Cheers

Dave

Magiques Top Speed.JPG

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My great great uncle was the first Harbour Master of Otago Harbour

Interesting. The very first Pilot Vessel for Otago is now sitting in the Havelock Marina. If you want to have a look at it, when you get there, Contact the local Marine sparky Mark Evans. The Boat needs so TLC, but she's pretty much the same as she was back then. The Boat was taken to Lyttlton and arrived the day Pearl Harbour was attacked if I understand the story correctly. At some point a Lyttleton Pilot was killed when he was crushed between a freighter and the Boat.

 

The issue with getting anywhere down there is going to be weather. That time of year you get the big High pressure's over the Country and you may not be seeing the speeds your GPS is showing in your post. Which then means when you do get some weather, it may not be the kind you want to be out in. As I can testify, the Weather should set your schedule, not you. Whenever we have had an uncomfortable time, it has been due to having to go due to running out of time.

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Thanks I will try to have a look. I was reading a book about Captain William Thomson that was mostly newspaper clippings of the time put together by a relative. When a big earthquake occurred in South America about 1870? a tidal wave hit NZ, the local reaction was to wander out to have a look around the bay, fortunately the return water was not too quick!

 

My partners great grandfather was Captain Bollens of the Hinemoa so also a lot of history around the coast. The family is always interested in any history people may know of?

 

No, not expecting to make 20.3kts and I will be trying to avoid that speed - that was on 5th June up the coast. However we do have big fuel tanks and will cruise on one engine at 7kts to keep the average up. I agree with what you say about the weather but for now I have to make plans and who knows it may all come together.

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Might see you down there. My brother is planning 2 months in Fiordland from Jan. Leaving Mana (near Wellington) in Jan (it's a launch though :oops: ). Planning to join him for a few weeks if I can sort some work issues....

Matt

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Hi Matt, that would be great to catch up.

 

I will be fitting the Optolamp next week, looks like a cool piece of equipment. I will email you another suggestion I have on equipment.

 

Cheers

Dave

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To do it well you need a month in Fiordland and another in Steward Island. Its hard to get a good window to go down the west coast, but the east coast can be done in 3 x 30 hour hops and a few other spots to stop and weather wait.

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I was lucky enough to spend 5 weeks around Stewart Island and Fiordland a few years ago and we hardly scratched the surface. This over Jan/Feb and we still took a weather pasting around the run run from Stewart Island up to Fiordland. To do that area justice needs 6 - 8 weeks down there - PLUS passage times.

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My partners great grandfather was Captain Bollens of the Hinemoa so also a lot of history around the coast. The family is always interested in any history people may know of?

 

Well now. A few weeks ago my wife and I gifted a shell collection to Te Papa. It was part of a the famous collection of Captain Bollens and had been given to my wife's grandfather, Sir James Elliott (a Wellington surgeon) by either the Captain or his widow.

 

When we first contacted Te Papa they were under the impression that they already had the complete Bollens collection but, in fact, there were several shells in our fragment which the curator had never seen and which they were grateful to receive. The specimens came from the Kermadecs, Tonga, Three Kings, and so on. Captain Bollens collected these on his voyages all around NZ and parts of the Pacific as skipper of the Government steamer.

 

Incidentally, speaking of pilots, my great Grandfather Captain John Galbraith (1833-1903) was the first Pilot of the Canterbury Provincial Council (1873) and Chief Pilot/Tugmaster (1885).

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Magique

Has your partner read the book "Captain John Niven" ? it was written by Bernard Fergusson about Captain Bollens, it is a fantastic read and great little slice of NZ maritime history.

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Bintang is now parked in Nelson.

 

As we did last summer (twice) our plan, this summer, is to circumnavigate (circuit?) Tasman Bay - Nelson, d'Urville, Tasman National Park and, weather permitting, foray into Golden Bay (which, by definition, means berthing in Tarakohe and exploring by car or on foot).

 

By d'Urville, I mean going through French Pass and cruising the eastern side of the island.

 

I agree with Wheels that NZ must be taken slowly - it is superb.

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