Christmas time is summertime here in New Zealand, and with the kids being on summer school holidays and the statutory holidays over Christmas & New Year, this time of the year means you can take a few weeks break without using up all your annual leave. As such, pretty much the whole country goes on holiday from Christmas Day until mid January!
We delivered our boat Wildwood up to the Marlborough Sounds at the beginning of December, so we couldn’t wait to get back on board. We had a lovely Christmas Day with our family in Akaroa, and got to take the kids out sailing in their Optimists, and after lunch we dropped the kids off to their other parents, repacked the car and headed up to Kaikoura to stay with our friends Vic & Johnny for the night.
The next morning we hit the road early, stopped at the supermarket to provision the boat, and began to load all our gear on to the boat. Somehow we managed to get everything on board and before we knew it, we were out of the marina and on our way to Flipper Bay, about an hour away. This is a lovely sheltered bay where the bush reaches right down to the water. We rafted up with our friends on Natural Magic & Resolve and took our new inflatable dinghy for a spin!
Another sunny day greeted us the next day, and we had a lazy morning, followed by some cruising around the bays and ending up at Lochmara Lodge to celebrate our friend Juliet’s birthday.
We spent the night in Cockle Cove on my bosses mooring and the next day we headed out to Ships Cove. This is one of my favourite places in the Sounds as it was where Captain Cook came back to on a number of occasions on his visits to New Zealand. My friend Johnny had lent me a book “Cook” by Rob Mundle which was brilliant and it brought the history of the area alive for me, and gave meaning to many of the place names in the Sounds.
Andrew went diving and fishing with the crew on Jive Talkin and speared some big moki and crayfish which we all enjoyed eating over the next few days. We stayed behind and walked up to the waterfall for a natural fresh water shower and spent the afternoon swimming and lazing in the sun followed by nibbles on Natural Magic.
The following day Andrew and I stopped off at Bay of Many Coves Resort for a lovely lunch and we met up with our friends again further down the Sounds, the weather forecast was looking a bit windy so we were looking for a nice sheltered spot for the night.
New Years Eve was our only day of rain – and it absolutely poured down all day. We managed to get the club mooring in Flipper Bay which was nice and sheltered and we had a few games of cards and Pictionary while we waited for our other friends to join us once the weather conditions permitted! It ended up being a huge night on Resolve singing away until the early hours of the morning!
We had a slow start to New Years Day, but we ended up just over the other side of the Sound in Governors Bay for New Years Eve take 2 – for those who were unable to make it the night before. We were joined by our friends Jon & Naomi, and we went diving for scallops and paddle boarding around the bay.
The Flying Machine crew lived up to their name by flinging Craig through the air by doing a high speed turn with Craig on a halyard. Lots of fun!
We had a night in the marina on the night of the 1st re packing the boat and preparing for the arrival of our kids. Will & Soph were flying up and Seth was being delivered via his Dad’s launch. Once we had them on board we spend the night in lovely Kumutoto Bay.
The following day we sailed up to Port Resolution, where the kids swam, fished and Seth & Soph camped ashore with Logan & Olivia for the night.
The next day we sailed to Burney’s beach which was where ten crew from the ship Adventure were killed and eaten on one of Cook’s New Zealand stopovers. There was some fascinating information in the book I was reading, and so again it was really interesting to visit while reading about it. We caught a few fish and spent the next couple of nights in Hitaua Bay sheltering from the Southerly.
The kids spent so much time in the water I was surprised they hadn’t grown webbed feet! When they weren’t in the water, they were playing in the dinghies, fishing, climbing from boat to boat playing with the other kids and playing cards.
Us adults spent our time chasing after the kids, re-baiting hooks, unhooking fish, comparing feet, blowing up inflatable water toys, drinking gin & tonic, singing and socialising with our friends.
It was a wonderful holiday, but unfortunately the two and a half weeks were up. It was time to take the kids back to the airport and deliver back to their other mother/father, and for us to sail Wildwood home. The other yachts were staying behind to compete in the annual Waikawa regatta.
We had a wonderful holiday. Amazing weather and many fun times with our fantastic friends. One we will all remember for a long time! Here is a video of the highlights: