A beautiful clear night and a billion stars last night. Nice and calm this morning and I was woken by the sound of birdsong, at first I thought I was dreaming, but no, definitely birds cheeping away above me on deck. I opened the hatch and there they were, all lined up, perched on the lifeline. By the time I got my camera to take a shot they had disorganised themselves. I think they are swallows, maybe starting to migrate north?
Just after eight in the morning I took the dinghy to shore, the outboard spluttering away but not failing me. When I got ashore another cruiser commented on how quiet my outboard motor was – little did her know I was just nursing it along.
Akaroa is a funny place. Due to an attempt to colonise the place by the French the town has retained a strong French influence. The petrol station sells l’essence, the streets are called Rue, men walk around in French Berets, there is la boucherie and bread shop of course. It’s all good fun and I am sure the locals and tourists alike love it.
I finally got my breakfast croissants and coffee. It was nice to sit outside with a checked tablecloth and have coffee and croissants French style.
After breakfast I went for a walk around town. At the museum I spent some time looking and reading about Frank Worsley, he was born in Akaroa. Worsley was Captain of the Endurance during Sir Earnest Shackleton’s ill-fated polar expedition. The boat journey that Worsley and Shackleton undertook from Elephant Island to South Georgia to seek help is one of the most amazing boat journeys of all time. The navigation skills performed by Worsley on that voyage are almost beyond belief. I have Worsley’s book, ‘Shackleton’s Boat Journey’, on board Truce. It’s a riveting read.
I called in at the Akaroa Yacht Club, not many people about. I had a beer and watched the world go by. There is a yacht race on, three yachts going offshore up the coast and returning late afternoon.
When walking down to the yacht club I noticed that there was another cruise ship, the ‘Golden Princess’ at anchor. I thought it strange that no boats with passengers were coming ashore, I intended to get out of town before the invasion. One of the guys at the club informed me that the boat had suspected cases of Covia-19 onboard and it was quarantined. The government stopped all cruise ship visits yesterday but it didn’t apply to the ones already here finishing their visits. There must be a couple of thousand passengers and crew on board – oh boy what a mess.
By the time I returned to Truce the wind had piped up from the NE, it was a slow ride back and I was quite damp on arrival. The wind is forecast to increase so I decided to move anchorage to a more sheltered spot. Looks like I will move again tomorrow as the wind is forecast to switch from north to south.
Tonight, I will download some more weather gribs and see if we still have a window to sail south on Tuesday.