Dusky Sound, of course is redolent of Cook’s explorations, and for me it was imperative that we anchor in Pickersgill Cove where the Endeavour spent a peaceful and productive month. We had a gentle motor and drift there, somewhat marred by the gear connection at the engine shearing. Fortunately, there was little tide and what breeze there was enabled me to keep the boat out of trouble while Trevor did a temporary fix. It meant that we had to have an ‛engineer’ below putting the engine in forward and astern, but it allowed us to continue. At 1835, we anchored in the Cove (45°47.8’S, 166°34.5’E) and took the usual lines ashore. As Trevor went below to effect a more permanent repair, I warned him that a launch was heading our way. We put out fenders and in due course, Miss Akaroa, last
Next day was taken up with the gear shift repair, which took a lot longer than anticipated We went for a walk ashore, looking unsuccessfully for a track, but my sprained anchor was still a severe hindrance to bush bashing. So instead we went for a row and enjoyed the company of a delightfully playful young fur seal.
not realised that Anchorage Island was predator free and at first couldn't believe our eyes. A visit to Cassandra proved equally fruitful, as they loaded us down with crayfish and venison that they had been storing in their freezer. The story behind the venison was complicated and included a tuna, a kayak and another yacht. I never did quite get it straight, but they were happy to make room for the crayfish they had been catching and it pot-roasted very well.
At 1930, we got our anchor and set off towards Stewart Island, which had been beckoning us all day. The forecast breeze never materialised and we alternately drifted and motored. I had a peaceful couple of watches but then got up to find us pretty much becalmed in thick fog. A light breeze filled in about 0930, but the tide was running strongly against us and we made little progress. Eventually, we started the motor in disgust and motored to Port
William (46°50.3’S, 167°05.3’E), where the motor, having behaved itself for ages, suddenly decided to overheat once more. We managed to drift the rest of the way up the harbour and anchored in 7 m, the fog disappearing as we came close to the land. We put the dinghy in and rowed ashore to stretch our legs and throughly enjoyed the pretty views, the warm sunshine and – most of all – the absence of sandflies!!!
made. Disappointment Cove (47°14.6’S, 167°37.1’E) was anything but and another very pretty spot, as well as being a wonderfully secure anchorage. An interesting little walk took us to a beach on the far side where we had a close encounter with a huge sea lion. From there we went to Waterlily Bay (47°10.4’S, 167°40.3’E),and I am starting to run out of superlatives.
Kiwis crossed the path. Trevor was leading and he stopped so that I could pass him and maybe get a better glimpse of them. As I stood there, one of them came pottering down towards us. We stayed perfectly still and watched in amazement as it came along and pecked me on the boot. I managed to take a couple of photos, but was so excited that my hands were shaking and they’re not very good! It looked up at me and apparently decided that maybe it had made a mistake, because it turned round and legged it back up into the bush. It was a magical experience.
Between gales, we managed to Iron Bark over to Ulva Island (46°55.8’S, 168°08.2’E) and anchored there to go ashore. This is a special island, predator free and with many rare and endangered birds apparently thriving. I spent quite some time watching a Kaka having a wonderful time ripping bark from a tree, in true parrot fashion.