NZ South Island – Charles Sound March 16 – 19

Post By Barb

Click here for Google Map Link – Catherine Island

Charles Sound is about 7.5 miles long and separates into 2 arms. It was named after Charles McLaren captain of the Sydney Cove, a sealing vessel that was around the fiords in 1810.

DSC_7465We left George Sound in a blanket of fog. The fog seemed to create a certain kind of atmosphere of peace and tranquility and it heightened our awareness of the wildlife sounds surrounding us which was occasionally disrupted by the fog horn of the small cruise ship that left before us.

 

Leaving Alice Falls as the fog rolls in

DSC_7462 DSC_7461 DSC_7459AWe had a stunning sail from George Sound to Charles with the 160 jib poled out and the main sail wing on wing doing 7 knots. We were trolling the fishing line and caught a fish but we were going so fast we couldn’t reel in the fish and we couldn’t easily slow the boat down. We did loose the catch and I figured we must have yanked the lips right off the poor fish. The wind started to accelerate quickly to 25 knots when we got close to Charles and before we knew it we had back winded the main. Denny had to go forward to remove the preventer we had on the main while I steered the boat as auto pilot was a little overwhelmed by the amount of sail we had. It was a little nerving watching Denny on deck trying to hang on while at the same time struggling with the preventer and all I had to do was make sure I steered the boat in a straight line in 25+ knot winds. We were successful and soon we had reduced sail and we were back to making our way to Charles Sound. We are continually amazed and humbled by how quickly the wind and sea conditions can change here.

Catherine Island anchorage

It was calm inside Charles Sound and we motored all the way to the end of Gold Arm to Catherine Island and we tied to a permanent line between two Islands. During our 3 days here we did have stints when the wind picked up to 35+ knots and it blew all around us but we were well protected in the a little nook between the two islands.

 

DSC_7503-1We did have one beautiful calm day and I spent the entire day traversing the fiord in my kayak and Denny explored by dinghy. The fiords offers some spectacular kayaking but I have to be always mindful of how quickly things can change and Denny often reminds me that if it got really nasty I would have to find a place to wait out the weather as he probably wouldn’t be able to come and rescue me until the wind abated. It is a thought that is always there.

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