Groundhog Day!

Every day I awake to the same scenery and same radio program.  We are now into week five of the Covid lockdown, it’s really starting to become boring.  Beam me up Scottie!

Our wonderful government is promising we can go from level 4 to level 3 lockdown next week.  Level 3 means that some businesses can open for contactless transactions and purchases made online can be delivered.  There are still severe travel and social restrictions in place.  For us sailors it doesn’t make any difference we are not allowed to sail in level 3 lockdown.  The reason being that if we get into trouble the rescue services will be at risk coming to our aid.  I can’t comment further without being impolite.

Portage Bay is not the worst place to be.  I can get ashore and walk up and down the road and there are a few people around.

A few days ago, I walked over the saddle and down to Torea Bay on the Queen Charlotte Sound.  A nice walk up and down the hill, not a soul in sight.  At Torea Bay there is a good jetty used by the water taxis running out of Picton.  Nothing much else to see.  I sat on the jetty, had a sandwich for lunch, washed it down with a beer and then headed back over the saddle to Portage Bay.  Not a very exciting day but I got off the boat, had some exercise and a change of scenery.

Torea Bay on Queen Charlotte Sound. Photo Ray Penson
Torea Bay on Queen Charlotte Sound. Photo Ray Penson

Yesterday I headed off in the opposite direction up Kenepuru Sound road for a few kilometres.  Beautiful weather, cool air and warm sunshine.  The road winds around the edge of the sound with good views around every corner.  I stopped a while at Take-In Bay where there is a scenic spot and a gap between the bay and the upper part of Kenepuru Sound.

The Gap, Take-In Bay. Photo Ray Penson
The Gap, Take-In Bay. Photo Ray Penson

Further on I came to Picnic Bay.  I was disappointed to find there was not a picnic table at Picnic Bay.  My plan was to stop here for lunch.  I sat on the rocks but not for long – the local insect wildlife zoomed in for a feast and I moved on.

Picnic Bay Camp Site. Photo Ray Penson
Picnic Bay Camp Site. Photo Ray Penson
Picnic Bay, rocky beach. Photo Ray Penson
Picnic Bay, rocky beach. Photo Ray Penson

After a while more walking the desire to round the next corner waned.  I turned around and headed back to Portage.  Once back at Portage Bay I sat and had lunch overlooking the bay.  Nice and calm and the sun warming me through.  At any other time this would have been idyllic, after four weeks of lockdown it is less so.

Next week I will make another trip into Havelock Marina for fresh groceries.  I also hope to collect a new Tiller Pilot, ordered online and to be couriered to me when we move into Level three lockdown on Tuesday.  I am looking forward to having a functioning autopilot once again, hand steering is mind numbing.

This afternoon, for some reason, I stripped down the wind-vane.  Always a stressful event, working over the stern with nuts, bolts and vital irreplaceable metal parts.  My record of losing bits to the sea is excellent, a habit I am trying to break.  Now I have a jumble of parts to finish cleaning and reassemble tomorrow.  My hope is that the wind-vane works as well when reassembled as it did before I ‘maintained’ it.

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