Waikawa Marina

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 23 Feb 2021 06:50
Position: 41 15.5 S  174 02.2 E
Alongside Waikawa Marina, Queen Charlotte Sound
Wind: NE  1   Sea: calm  Swell:  nil
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 40 nm

Yesterday evening we ended up picking up a mooring on the northern side of Resolution Bay, rather than Ship Cove, with the view of being a little bit closer to Waikawa Marina and requiring a shorter sail today. Thus, this morning we only had some fourteen miles to sail so I could have a relaxing start, which I did.
Away at 0935, we were soon clear of the shifting fickle winds of Resolution Bay and out into the channels where the wind, while still highly variable, were for the most part fresh. Indeed at time we were heeled over with the gunwale awash but within the confines of the Sound, the seas were smooth and Sylph creamed along at six to seven knots. Normally I would have put a reef in the main but in these smooth conditions with a fresh breeze Sylph is fun to sail.

At around 1100 we passed Tory Channel which is the channel that the ferries use to go between Wellington and Picton. I managed to time it such that we passed the  channel at around slack water, and three ferries past us one after the other. The first had to adjust her course to pass astern of Sylph as we were in a crossing situation at the junction of the channels, the second I had to tack early to stay clear of and the third I am glad to say I was well out of the way of by the time she rounded into the Queen Charlotte Sound.

We managed to find our berth in the marina without any difficulty. It is certainly a big marina, and it is being extended. I reckon there must be some 300 boats tied up here, and there is another marina, not quite as large, in the next bay along at Picton. I chose Waikara because all the boating services are here.  Unfortunately, however, there is no supermarket and no transport from here into town. I reckon once I have done what I need to do here I will move around to Picton and rent a mooring for few days to stock up with fresh supplies. 

I was thinking about wintering over in the Sounds but now that I am here, it doesn’t seem terribly appealing: too many boats, very commercial, and nowhere to anchor. All the anchorages marked in my cruising guide are now filled with private club moorings. Instead, we will likely continue on to Wellington where I need to go to get my passport renewed. After that, I don’t know, maybe head out to Chatham Islands.

All is well.