BACK TO THE SOUNDS – THROUGH FRENCH PASS

Last night I spent some time downloading weather files and looking at routing options in Predict Wind.  It seems that getting a clean run down the west coast is a long way off.  There are a procession of weather fronts coming into the bottom of the South Island, effectively blocking my path for the last part of the trip.

But it looks like there is a good opportunity to head down the east coast to Akoroa this week.  Of course, this means heading back through French Pass and up around the top of the sounds.

As I don’t like waiting around, I decided to take the east coast option.  Early this morning I stowed the dinghy on deck and made everything sea secure.  Then picked up the anchor, said farewell to Adele Island and headed eastwards.  Once again, a flat calm morning and motoring.

After lunch a faint N’ly breeze set in and we were just able to motor sail towards French Pass, making good time as the tide turned and the current became favourable.  We had to get through French Pass before 15:40 when the current starts to flow southward, we just made it with thirty minutes to spare.  I was very happy to get through French pass this afternoon as its saved us having to anchor on the south side overnight waiting for the next northerly flow tomorrow.

As we approached French Pass the ‘Spirit of New Zealand’ overtook us, they were also going through on the last of the N’ly flow.

At the entrance to the French Pass narrows the Spirit of New Zealand slowed down and hung about, allowing us to go through the pass first.  We motored through the swirling waters on full power, just to be sure we got clear before the southerly flow started.

The Spirit of New Zealand following Truce through French Pass. Photo Ray Penson
The Spirit of New Zealand following Truce through French Pass. Photo Ray Penson

Once through the pass we headed north to Cherry Tree Bay, the anchorage I had chosen for the night.  I reduced the RPM on the engine and we pottered the last couple of miles to the anchorage.

Spirit of New Zealand overtaking Truce after French Pass. Photo Ray Penson
Spirit of New Zealand overtaking Truce after French Pass. Photo Ray Penson

Cherry Tree bay looks like a good anchorage, certainly in the weather we have now.  I have found what feels like a good spot in nine meters of water.  A quick dabble with the fishing rod brought in a Blue Cod.  As I have dinner prepared, I don’t need fish, so he went back over the side.  I caught it on a soft bait, seems blue cod will bite anything.

Next came a swarm of wasps, trying to invade the boat.  I fought them off with flit, they were very persistent and only went away at sunset.

There is no telephone signal here.  No news, weather files or email.  Cut off again.  Tomorrow I will continue around the top of the sounds, hope to get a weather update and plan my run down the east coast

2 thoughts on “BACK TO THE SOUNDS – THROUGH FRENCH PASS

  1. Ray,

    I follow with interest but I now longer have the chart. Has it be discontinued or am I not doing something correctly?

    Like

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