Since we had decided not to take Rusalka further afield than Marlborough Sounds, we hired a car to do a short road trip to explore the South Island further.
We spent the better part of a week in Nelson, doing chores and chasing up leads for crew for the return journey, so we decided that we deserved a couple of days of play in Abel Tasman National Park.
We woke up in Muzz’s Cove on Monday morning to heavy rain and low visibility, but decided to move on to another bay in Pelorus Sound.
As always, the weather guides our plans. With a forecast of two calm days before a Northwesterly gale we decided to leave beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound and head back around Cape Jackson to visit Pelorus Sound.
We booked the ferry to Wellington for Sunday for a short getaway, expecting to return on Wednesday. Cyclone Gita was coming, but it was uncertain when, where or how hard it would hit NZ.
After a couple of rainy days we were getting itchy feet and decided to spend a few more days looking around the inner QCS area.
Monday was a windy day with strong NW’s, but we decided to head up Endeavour Inlet to Furneaux Lodge. Some of the resorts here have moorings that they allow visitors to use for free – with the expectation that you’ll have a coffee or meal in their restaurant. They will even ferry you to and from your boat in their dinghy.
After the big blow we spent Friday getting ready for a week of cruising – food shopping, fueling the boat, having one last restaurant meal. We left Nelson on Saturday, in light winds heading for the notorious French Pass, that would let us slip under d’Urville Island and avoid some exposure to Cook Strait.
Extra-tropical cyclone Fehi was heading our way and had been forecast to hit NZ several days in advance. We came back from our mini-trip to the Abel Tasman NP and tied ourselves securely into our berth to await the storm.
Our original plan was to head off towards the Marlborough Sounds as soon as we were all settled on the boat, but there was an “extra-tropical cyclone” forecast for Thursday which sounded pretty nasty so we decided to be in the Nelson marina when that hit.