Friday, February 20, 2009

Nearly time to move on.

Following the general description of the route Tori followed I made my way to Southwest Cape. The going was tough in scrub and slippery pig tracks. More than once I found myself taking a slide and getting a wee bit muddy! The pay off was sitting near to Shy Mollymawks nesting. Every now and then an adult would stand up and display a very large fluffy chick. Following a quick wing stretch and move both birds would settle down and you would never guess that such a large chick lurked underneath. Some
birds were performing beak rubbing rituals and others were preening each other. Just out from the cliffs birds would be landing, taking off and soaring. All of which was very impressive. We spent a day being 'lazy' at Western Harbour, we have spent a lot of time on 40 feet of boat in the last 5 months and it doesn't improve your fitness! Although it certainly beats sitting behind a desk. This wait also allowed the heavy SW swell and wind to die down a bit. Our next exploration was to take us out
of a small shallow passage onto the windward side of the island and we wanted as calm a sea as possible, which down here is not very calm!

The next morning we prepared to go. Our departure was to be with the tide against us in the passage. This meant the 4 meter swell that broke dangerously in the passage with the outgoing tide would be a little less daunting and dangerous. Although it would take a little longer to get through. Prior to our departure Tori went for a swim (total insanity again) and was joined very quickly by a young female Sea Lion who was keen to play. The Sea Lion swam quickly around Tori having a good look. She would
swim away and then reappear right under Tori before disappearing again to reappear just as quickly.

We got underway and headed out. The passage was about 20 metres wide with a cliff on one side and a reef on the other. Very dramatic but we were soon through and bouncing our way along the windward side of the Island. The cliffs rise straight up to between 350m to 500m. Some waterfalls cascade down, only to get blown straight back up in most cases. The chart as often has no details other than the outline of the island, and that has bits in the wrong place (like islands and outcrops!). We rolled and
plummeted our way for two hours along this coast followed by Albatross, Skuas, Petrels and the odd penguin. We appeared to be on the Shag flying route as every one we saw came and flew a loop around us. The Shags seemed very unnatural and strained flyers compared to the Light Mantled Sooty Albatross who are very fluid and amazingly graceful in flight.

We arrived at the entrance to Fly Harbour, on the south coast of Adams Island, and were ready for some calmer water. Once again the inlet is not charted so we picked our way carefully through the kelp covering the entrance. We were confident the inlet held no major problems as it had been recommended to us by Henk of the yacht 'Tiama", probably the most experienced and knowledgeable person on navigation around these islands (try a google search to finds Henks website for extreme latitude charters
and expeditions). We arrived at the head of the inlet to find a good anchorage. Like many anchorages the wind can be a bit gusty but it was calm with cliffs rising to over 500m and waterfalls. We had the company of plenty of wildlife and I watched Penguins(Yellow eye)feeding, Albtross (Wandering and Light Mantelled), Diving Petrels, Shags, Giant Petrels, all whilst I did the washing up in the galley. Not a bad view!

We set off the next morning following along the shore towards Waterfall Inlet. Still a bit bouncy but nothing bad. We are looking at moving on to Campbell Island now and as if on cue the wind has swung to the SE as a low pressure comes down from NZ. We will wait and see what happens. We expect the wind to return to the West early next week which will be better for us if not a bit strong! We must be away from the Islands before 2nd March as our hull inspection certificate will lapse at that time.
I doubt we will fancy a trip to Bluff and back to have another inspection although we have a permit for the Campbell Island til 15th March. Our trip back up the mainland is not clear yet. We would like to go to the other outer islands of Antipodes, Bounty and Chatham, but would also life to cruise the east coast of NZ and catch up with friends and family (and have a shower, do some washing and enjoy some warm summer weather for a bit!!).


Blogger Richard Pomeroy said...

Finally caught up with your blog site. Quite an interesting place the 21st century! You are obviously having some great times swimming with seals etc ut i the air temp is 10-12 what on earth is the water temp. Sadly we are enduring 22-25, humid northerlies and calm, still summer conditions. It is extremely hard only if you are trying to sail TED ASHBY! My last week of proper work next this wee. Next week I am on jusy duty and then I sign off proper. Carol Forsyth will be doing the desk side of my job and Kevin will be the Vessel Maintenance Manager. Carol starts on Monday so I will show her what I do durng the week and leave her to it. Let's hope she lasts!
Any time you want to fly back for a break and a nice warm spa pool just give us a yell.
Good luck
Richard and Karyn

12:54 am  
Blogger Richard Pomeroy said...

Just read my comment. Prize for the first one to decypher it! Must get used to ths keyboard.

12:56 am  
Blogger Christy said...

Well, if you are feeling soft, by way of training, I for one am quite happy to throw bathfulls of cold water over you while you sit in the cockpit back at the marina.
I also can't help but feel that you are turning into something of a hermit. Quite a lot of people indeed! We get 600 off one ferry somedays! Your adventure is inspiring. Do keep up the posts.

2:07 am  
Blogger Christy said...

the real Christy would just like to point out that above comment was from Mike, I would never risk throwing cold water at you :)

9:00 pm  

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