Day 12/28 of Isolation, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. 41:13.67S 173:57.96E

Blue Hound
Phil Marks & Rosy Jensen
Mon 6 Apr 2020 08:01

We feel incredibly lucky to be isolated in this wonderful cruising ground of New Zealand. On the first day of isolation we were approached and questioned by the Harbour Authorities as they had effectively closed the area for ‘boating’. However, as live-aboards it was accepted we had no other option. In light of this we are keeping our movements to a minimum and have explored 3 bays in the last 10 days.

The only other ‘cruisers’ we have talked to (greater than 3 metres away) are a New Zealand couple who are unable to return home nearby as the marinas are closed.


Some bays are totally isolated with no inhabitants, while some have public wharfs which gives us shore access for walks. Some bays have houses set into the hillside, all with private jettys, as many have no road access. The bays are quiet with only bird song and the occasional moo from a feral cow. There are also wild pigs.

From the deserted anchorage at the head of Torea Bay we walked 20 minutes up the hill to the saddle, and enjoyed the panoramic view across Pelorus Sound ( 60 nm round by sea). 


Friday, grocery delivery day, so we weighed anchor to head to the delivery point and found this 11-armed star fish on the chain. He didn't want to move so we had to help him in his way before the windlass crushed him.


We had arranged for our groceries (online shopping) to be delivered to my friend Jeremy's jetty, in Onahau Bay. Boxes of groceries duly arrived for us and for the few houses nestled in the same bay by a ‘Cougar Line’ water taxi. All very efficient, and easy. Our work was cut out sanitising it all before storage!

Today we are in Waterfall Bay, at the head of Onahau Bay. There are great shots of the bays on Google Earth, here’s one (c) Google acknowledged:


My new fishing rod has provided some amusement and a little success. Using mussels as bait we caught 4 snappers, 3 were undersized so went back (minimum legal size 25cms) Using a snapper off cut as bait,  Phil watched in the clear water a blue fish circled his bait and then a quick strike. Et voila - dinner was a 35cm 1 kg Pacific (blue) Mackerel.


The projects continue: Phil is installing an electric toilet which has been packed away under a bunk for 15 years and I am sewing new chaps to cover the dinghy. One advantage of our DIY approach is that we already had copious quantities of latex gloves and paper face masks aboard before the world went crazy.

Here are a few more photos of the Sounds:


 We hope that you are all well and staying safe in these unprecedented and challenging times.