Kaikoura

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Kaikoura anchorage

Today we arrived at the small township of Kaikoura and anchored off the harbour. On New Year's Day we did not manage to do this as the weather and sea conditions were too rough to operate our tenders safely. Today is much better and the first group of people have already departed to take a whale watching tour. Locals in small boats are coming around to have a look at us. Not many passenger ships come to Kaikoura I suspect.

Kaikoura is probably the whale watching capital of New Zealand. The reason is that the continental shelf comes in really close to the shore. This means that there is deep water relatively close to the shore and so the whales come in close along the shelf. We are anchored in 14 metres of water yet 1.5 miles offshore from us the water drops down to over 1000 metres deep. I have not seen any whales this morning but they were around last time so there is no reason to doubt they are not around today.

It is a Sunday and a chance for me to catch up with some paperwork and emails and plan my week ahead.

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A view down Queen Charlotte Sound.

Yesterday evening we left Picton and ran the 20 miles from the berth to the sea along Queen Charlotte Sound. It truly is a yachtsman’s paradise. It can get windy among the islands as the surrounding hills funnel the wind in all different directions but the waves are never big enough to cause any issues and we are virtually landlocked. The entrance to the sound lies between islands which protect it from the waves of the open sea.

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Helmsman and Quartermaster Cristopher Certeza

Finally for today I would like to introduce you to another crew member. He is one of our Able Seamen and a bridge QuarterMaster. In other words he forms part of a bridge watch and acts as a lookout and also steers the ship when we need to do it manually and not use the autopilot.

Here is what he wrote about himself.

I am Cristopher Certeza. I am 33 years of age and was born in Valenzuela City which is located in the northern part of the Philippines. I am married and have a beautiful daughter. She is 3 years of age.

To become a seafarer for me was a good way to provide for my family and is a better life for me than working ashore.

I started my career on the Seabourn Pride as a member of the galley staff in 2007. After 2 years at sea I decided that it would be exciting for me to work in the deck department. Seabourn gave me the opportunity to retrain and in 2009 I joined the deck department as an Ordinary Seaman and after a year I was promoted to Helmsman and I joined the bridge team.

I really enjoy working as a member of the bridge and with the rest of the deck department.


We will remain at anchor until 17:00 and then sail to the South entering into Akaroa harbour tomorrow morning.


Mark Dexter 2015