Sailing through the Cook Straight

Trip Start Sep 27, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Island Prism

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eventually, it was time to start the journey back up north.  Moody skies glowered overhead as we passed Waikawa and Allports Island once again, before turning into the Tory Channel.  We kept an eye out for the frequent and very large interisland ferries, especially around the narrow channel entrances.  

The day brightened.  I saw a commotion of seabirds diving into water that fizzed with fish.  Trawling a line through it, I reeled in a kahawai, which Jim dispatched.  We tied to a buoy and I turned our catch into lunch, whilst we waited for the window of tides and currents which would allow us to pass out of the Tory Channel and into the Cook Straight. 

I had been worried about the passage, but it was such a calm day that after French Pass it was almost disappointingly easy.  The currents were in evidence though, the water flowed strangely in places and I needed to watch the surface carefully .  

Jimmie was pleased to be out on the Straight at last.  Making this passage , with its dangerous reputation, had been one of his goals for this trip.  A fog bank appeared, and Wellington was smothered in blackness.  It was eerie to watch the massive ferries being seemingly swallowed up.  We entered the fog, visibility became low and as Jimmie went to nap I steered with radar and depth sounder.  We were well away from the shipping channel and it remained calm sailing.  
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