My Big Woody Adventure
Several months ago David Cooke tapped me on the shoulder & asked if I would like to join Barbara & himself aboard their 1965 Salthouse built classic motor-yacht, Trinidad, on the first leg of their circumnavigation of New Zealand – Bay of Islands (East Coast of the North Island) > down the West Coast to Picton (top of the South Island). The short answer was hell yes.
Fast forward to Saturday January 20th 2018 & the Cooke’s, myself & Jamie Hudson (owner of near sister ship – Lady Crossley) are having our last land based dinner at the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club. Very appropriate that it was fish & chips. An early night was called & we woke at 5.30am Sunday morning to prepare for departure – photos & trip details below – read on & enjoy the journey – I did 🙂
A slightly different format today – magazine style i.e. photos & copy to support them, have also captioned some. When you are doing 3 hours on 3 hours off watches, food plays a big part of the day – so there are a few food shots. When Barbara deemed I needed to be punished for some misdemeanor she would not tell my what was for dinner & keep me guessing all day. To a serious foodie, that was cruel.
Dinner at Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club
Final prep – night b4 departure
David explaining to me what a sail looked like
We are off – leaving Whangaroa
Milford Island in the mist
Leaving Whangaroa Harbour
We left Whangaroa early on Sunday (21/01) – approx. 515 nautical miles ahead of us. Conditions were a little damp & a combination of sea mist & low cloud meant we saw little of the Northland coast. In fact North Cape / Cape Regina was only an outline.
We crossed the top of the North Island mid afternoon. Gave the Pandora Bank a very wide berth & pointed Trinny in a straight line to the South Island. The rain and drizzle continue into the first night but after that it was a dry run. We had a 10>15 knot breeze from NE most of the way & a 2>3m swell. The combination of a steadying sail & a wee headsail worked a treat, not for speed but simply to help steady the rolling motion. When both are set the wheel can be left and Trinny will hold her course.
They say an army marches on its stomach – well the Trinny crew certainly had no complaints with the gallery – we dined well 🙂
Stunning dawn, off Taranaki
The clock on the GPS says 3:58am & we were just off New Plymouth, the gas well / rig lights being the first thing we had seen other than H2O. Mount Egmont poking thru the clouds / mist. This was the view most days – same > same but very wow.
Lots of dolphins (& the odd shark)
The crew – Barbara, David, Jamie & myself below
Closing in on Stephens island at the northern end of the Marlborough sounds, the weather gods smiled on us for the trip across Cook Straight & with the GPS reading 9.6 knots it was a happy crew. It had been a dry trip, so we were hanging out for a cold beer once we had dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound.
We arrived in Resolution Bay at approx. 6pm, a total travel time of close to 60 hrs. And immediately rafted up with friends of Barbara & David’s – Rob and Mandy Carpenter who own the Warwick designed launch Pandanoosa. When the engine was killed it was so peaceful, but saying that the faultless beat of the 6LX Gardner was quite hypnotic.
I lost the bet on how long the trip would take (only by 45mins) & was forced to wear a bar napkin, take orders and serve drinks while displaying my best manners……….
We had a great night & a superb meal of Blue Cod aboard Pandanoosa.
Captain Cooke – peeling the potatoes for dinner
Bay Of Many Coves Resort
The Crew, brunch & bubbles
We awoke after a great sleep – we had been doing watches of 3 hours on / 3 hours, to the magnificent beauty of The Sounds. It’s just so big & so stunning. The next 2 days were spent mooching around the bays & coves sucking up the scenery(Pickersgill Island, Blumine Island, Endevour Inlet, Anapawa Island). Brunch at the Bay of Many Coves resort was a special treat, as were drinks at Furneaux Lodge.
This is my pick of the waterfront properties we saw. I will do another WW story soon on the boat sheds – some stunners.
Cabin boy Jamie doing his morning chores
A little sad when we had to berth Trinny at the Waikawa Bay marina & clean / pack up. End of the line for Jamie & myself but just the start for the Cooke’s – you can follow their cruise on the Trinidad Travels facebook page – link below
The return journey – I had always wanted to do the Wellington > Auckland scenic train trip, so suggested to Jamie that we took the overnight ferry from Picton > Wellington & caught the train home. A great plan, just had to kill 5 hours in the middle of the night in Wellington. I think Jamie thought Mermaids was a seafood restaurant………..
Train was very cool, a few issues with brakes overheating that extended the travel time – but I would do the trip again.
- The crew – Barbara, David & Jamie – perfect mix & just outright 100% nice people
- Trinidad – anytime aboard her is a treat, she is such stunning old lady, who has lapped NZ before, crossed the Tasman to Sydney & cruised the Pacific Islands.
- The food
- The sunsets & dawns off the West Coast of the North Island
- Queen Charlotte Sound & Picton town, very cool place to own a woody – I’ll be back.
For the overseas viewers I have included below a few photos of Trinidad, a rather magnificent ship – looking as always very regal. You can see / read more about her here
Love the bread maker