Port Chalmers for the last time. Happy Valentines Day.  

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Kaikoura - 2

Approaching Kaikoura anchorage from the bridge

Since Picton we have called at Kaikoura, Akaroa and today, Port Chalmers.

The morning dawned in Kaikoura revealing calm waters, blue seas, cloudless skies and a backdrop that was breathtaking. We anchored at breakfast time and ran our guests ashore in our tender boats. Whales spouted, dolphins leapt and seals do what seals do which seems to be to laze in the sun and do not much else. It was a great day to be out and about in this part of New Zealand. Just 100 miles further south lay Akaroa on the Banks Peninsular to the south of Christchurch. That was our next port of call.

Akaroa - 5

Not a pleasant start to the day in Akaroa.

What on earth happened to the weather? It could not have been more different. A strong West wind blew ragged clouds around the cliffs at the harbour entrance. At one point the visibility dropped to around 200 metres and cleared just as we entered into the harbour. It was cold and damp. Where had the sun of yesterday gone?

We anchored at breakfast time again and over the next two hours the weather flip flopped from nice to just about ok and back again settling on dull and chilly. The next few photos show what I mean.

Akaroa - 4

It clears up. It could be a nice day! Clouds creep over the hilltops.

Akaroa - 1

Starting to cloud over again. The wind picks up.

Akaroa - 2

Only a suggestion of blue skies remain. By the time we sailed§ it was overcast again

Two dear people that looked after my family when we first moved to New Zealand came onboard and I spent a few wonderful hours with them.

We are now in Port Chalmers again. It was a bit of a lumpy night due to a SW swell caused by the winds of yesterday. It was another grey and chilly morning as we picked up our pilot and ran into Otago harbour passing the albatross colony on Taiaroa Head.

Port Chalmers - 3

Otago harbour from the bridge.

Port Chalmers - 2

Captain Tony Lawrence, Otago pilot and I. He is an old colleague of mine from past days when we both had hair!

Captain Tony Lawrence, an old colleague from way back in my Condor ferries days, was our pilot having moved to New Zealand with his family around 7 years ago.

Port Chalmers - 1

Classic line up waiting to take guests on the heritage tour.

One of our tours which is always very popular is a tour of the Heritage of Dunedin by classic Jaguar cars. Here they are lined up on the quay waiting for our guests.

We are due to depart for Oban, Stewart Island this evening at 6pm with a fairish weather forecast to assist us on our way.

I do hope you did not forget that today is Valentines Day.

 © Mark Dexter 2015