AU REVOIR AKAROA

On Saturday morning the cold southerly winds eased off and we were eager to get ashore in Akaroa and stretch our legs.  A beautiful warm sunny day and all well in the world again.

After a walk around town and a good cup of coffee we paid a visit to the four square store for fresh groceries before heading back to Truce for lunch.  In the afternoon I took the dinghy into the Akaroa yacht club jetty to fill out freshwater jugs.  We have handy 5Ltr jugs that we use for fresh water, very convenient to use, store and top up.

Akaroa Yacht Club and Old Lighthouse. Photo Ray Penson
Akaroa Yacht Club and Old Lighthouse. Photo Ray Penson

In the late afternoon we headed back ashore, this time for drinks and dinner at The Trading Rooms bar and restaurant.  The food was excellent, we returned aboard in the evening well fed, watered, and tired, ready for the sail down to Port Chalmers in the morning.

On Sunday morning we lifted the anchor for a departure on the ebb tide from Akaroa.  The night had been very peaceful with no wind to disturb our sleep.  The anchor was well dug into the thick Akaroa mud.  It took quite a few buckets of seawater to clear the mud from the chain and deck, oh wouldn’t a wash down hose be convenient!

As we left the anchorage I heard the engine noise change, a look over the stern showed no cooling water coming out the exhaust.  I switched off the engine and dropped the anchor again.   The Akaroa harbour is littered with large floating patches of seaweed, most likely dislodged in the recent southerly blow.  Some of this weed had completely blocked the seacock inlet, I tried to blow it out, but nothing happened.  I removed the inlet hose from the seacock and used a heavy-duty cable tie to poke down the seacock valve.  After a few prods I was rewarded with a good flow of water into the boat (now I will have to clean the bilge).  In resecured the hose (2 clips) and ‘voila’ Back went the hose and the engine is getting cooling water again.  I picked up the anchor again, cleared seaweed from the chain, washed the chain and deck and we were on our way again.

Weed on Anchor Chain. Photo Ray Penson
Weed on Anchor Chain. Photo Ray Penson

The northerly wind had filled, taking us quickly out of Akaroa Harbour and past the impressive Timutimu head back to sea.  Looking back at the entrance to Akaroa and Banks Peninsular its hard to imagine the massive force of nature that created it.

Timutimu Head Akaroa. Photo Ray Penson
Timutimu Head Akaroa. Photo Ray Penson

We were surrounded by numerous Hectors dolphins as we departed, so many you could not count them.  I tried to get photos of them and ended up with numerous shots of splashes, tails, heads, fins but no complete dolphin in shot, very tricky to photograph.

Departing Akaroa in good breeze. Photo Ray Penson
Departing Akaroa in good breeze. Photo Ray Penson

The wind strengthened to a solid 20 knots.  Truce bounded along with 2 reefs in the main to starboard and the Yankee poled out to port, occasionally hitting nine knots as we surfed down the waves.  Wonderful sailing in bright sunshine, sparkling blue seas and white topped waves, this hasn’t happened much this trip.

Late evening the wind stated dropping as the sun set, by midnight there was not much puff left, speed had dropped to 3 knots.  The sails started flogging as Truce bobbed around on the confused sea.  Time to motor again, reluctantly I started the motor.  Only another 65 miles to Port Chalmers.

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