Sunday, 5 June 2011


I was extremely lucky today. Carrie and Sythe have two friends who own a large sail boat/small yacht type thing.  They sail it in French Pass, a place about 1/2 hour up the road. Its  very narrow strip of water between the mainland and d'Urville island where boats can go through, but only in a tiny section of the pass. Its so narrow that when the tides are changing water gets dragged through and it creates whirlpools. They use it for a schools sailing club, as well as private charters for tourists and you can actually take it out for days at a time because there is a galley (kitchen) and births (beds) below deck. Normally its about $160 per person but they have to move it for the winter from French Pass to Elaine Bay and had no way for driving home as they only have one car. So they asked Clarrie and Sythe to do the driving, leaving one car at Elaine bay then driving us back to French Pass, and let us go on the boat for free. It was great, I got to see French pass from the road (we were sailing in the other direction) which a lot of wwoofers don't as Sythe stopped taking them there due to the rising fuel costs. and I got a 5 hour trip on a boat!

The boat was had built by Lawarance and it is he and his wife that own it. He literally just bought some wood, shaped it himself and built the whole thing by hand. He had a few friends who helped him with the heavy lifting and stuff and a professional joiner but most of it was his own work. It took 16 years he said, on and off so about 8 years of work. Its maybe 40 feet long. He built it in Western Australia then sailed it over to New Zealand. Unfortunately there was so little wind that we had to use the motor, so I didn't get to see the sail up, or go along in total silence but other than that it was great! Grace made some potato, cabbage and bacon soup as well, forgetting about the vegetarians and it was great to have meat!!! Most of the time I could take or leave it, and I don't buy much anyway as its expensive. I even gave up meat for Lent one year but I ate a lot of fish and eggs. Sythe doesn't cook her eggs at this time of year, she sells them and as the chickens aren't laying many in the winter she only keeps 2 or 3 a week for baking. They've had tinned tuna but its not the same. So I was really grateful for the bacon anyway!!!!

We arrived Elaine Bay and moored for the winter, then took the little row boat back to the shore. All in all a very good day and I was so lucky to see such a beautiful part of New Zealand.

Here is the website of the boat, and Clarrie and Sythe's website:

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