We had a great sail from Lyttelton up to Kaikoura, once the wind arrived. Much of the day was spent under spinnaker. The Kaikoura peninsula sticks out of an otherwise featureless coast and provides the only anchorages between the Banks Peninsula and Cape Campbell, at the front step of Cook Strait.
Kaikoura is that strip of illuminated land just under the sail.
We came in as the light was failing.
And then, just after we rounded the peninsula, the Kaikoura coast guard hailed us on the radio to offer their mooring for the night. Someone from the coast guard came down to the wharf with a handheld VHF to talk us into the mooring. That's one big side of South Island En Zed in a nutshell. The place is very very friendly, which is always an important quality for travelers.
The next day Alisa and the boys went ashore. There were New Zealand fur seals everywhere.
The place is beautiful, but the anchorage is, alas, far from all-weather.
I stayed on board Galactic and ended up moving anchorage twice during the day.
A front brought snow to the mountains in the afternoon. Alaskans love seeing snow!
The next day we had a booming sail up the coast, watching the albatross and fluttering (Hutton's?) shearwaters, catching barracuda and letting them go (we really should try eating one), and catching glimpses of snow on the higher peaks. This is the first proper snow we've seen in the Southern Hemisphere.
And this was our anchorage for the night - Cape Campbell. It looks pretty improbable from a distance, but turned out to be great.
Wellington was cast aside on the spot and now, with a relaxed start to the morning behind us, we are setting off on the overnight sail to Napier.