BALLISTIC BARKERS BERRY JAM AND ROTTEN TOMATOES – AKAROA

Finally, the painting of the repair was finished yesterday evening.  Thanks to Pete and Maurice from Stark Bros for making an excellent job of the repair.  In anticipation of sailing I did the laundry, had a shower, got a few groceries, had a pint of Kilkenny at the pub, filled the water tanks and generally got everything shipshape and ready for sea.

For the past couple of weeks I have noticed a slight port list developing.  I have checked the bilges, water tanks, fuel tanks but couldn’t find the reason.  Then it dawned on me, the beer locker on the starboard side was getting empty.  I called the super liquor store in town, they confirmed they could deliver to the marina.  Now I have fresh beer stocks on board, we are back on an even keel again.

Repairs finished – nothing to see here Photo Ray Penson
Repairs finished – nothing to see here Photo Ray Penson

 Today is Friday the 13th.  A day and date to give any seafarer nervous palpitations.  Sailing on Friday the 13th is never a good idea.  I have only done it once, from Houston many years ago when I was Second Mate.  We had a German Captain who didn’t subscribe to superstitious nonsense.  The Agent even offered to arrange the pilot for one minute past midnight on the 14th.  The voyage was a disaster and we were lucky to reach port, battered, bruised and damaged.

My logic for sailing this morning is that we are not going on a voyage, just repositioning to the other side of Banks Peninsular, to Akoroa.  By 06:30 we were clear of the Lyttelton harbour and motoring down the fairway towards the sea, still dark.  At 07:22 the sun popped up on the horizon, very soon the first warmth of the day was felt, at ten it was warm enough to take my jacket off.  It was a beautiful morning, not much wind so we motored on a calm sea.

A couple Hectors dolphins showed up, they are quite reserved creatures and don’t frolic around like other dolphins.  Their dorsal fin isn’t curved like most dolphins, it’s more like one of Mickey Mouse’s ears that’s been stuck on their backs.  They are small and seem to wiggle a lot more than their bigger cousins to get speed up when swimming alongside the boat.  My favourite, the Albatross also turned up to check Truce out, did I detect a disapproving look because we were motoring and not sailing?

Once we were clear of any shipping and in clear water I went below to make some toast and coffee.

When I opened the Jam pot things went a little wild.  It was Barkers Bramble Berry Jam; I think it must have been fermenting in the jar.  As I took the top off it exploded, and jam spattered all over the galley.  I finally got some on my toast, it tasted good.

Lunch was Cheese and tomato, with bread rolls and Branston pickle.  To my surprise the tomatoes had gone mouldy and rotten, I only bought then a couple of days ago.  I managed to salvage a couple; the rest went into the Bendix.

The wind arrived for the last couple of hours from astern.  I just kept the full main up and we made good progress at around 6 knots up into Akaroa Harbour.  The Hectors dolphins came back to escort Truce into Akaroa.

A large cruise ship was at anchor with multiple tenders running passengers ashore.  Disgusting polluting things carrying an obnoxious cargo – just my opinion.

By two thirty in the afternoon we were anchored in French Bay.  Once everything was secure and snugged away I was relieved to settle down in the cockpit and have a beer.  We had made the short forty-mile trip without problems.  I will stay on board tonight, don’t want to push my luck.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to getting ashore.  Maybe get some fresh French bread and croissants.

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