Anchorage Bay & Nelson, NZ
31 January 2012 | Nelson, New Zealand
Anchorage Bay is a beautiful, safe spot to lie at anchor for a while. Located in Torrent Bay at the southern end of the Abel Tasman National Park, there is a campsite for hikers doing the Coast Track and kayakers that paddle in. Water taxis zip in and out all day long but cannot put a damper on this idyllic place. A narrow beach of fine sand gives way to dense bush and verdant mountains veined with trails.
Our new inflatable Sea Eagle kayak had been tied above the dinghy on the foredeck for the daysail down from Tarahoke Marina. We easily lowered it over the side and used it as our sole transport. Each day we explored the shores of the bay. On either side of the long sandy beach are steep walls of granite and lots of trees. There is a 4 meter tide range so most of the small sandy beaches disappear at high water and many rocks appear at low water. We love our new kayak! It's even possible to stand up and use it as a paddleboard although that is a quite a thigh burner. Perhaps with some more experience I'll relax a little and the muscles will get a break.
Paikea Mist and Jackster were already anchored there when we arrived. The following day we joined them on a hike to a waterfall. We walked through the forest until we reached Falls River. Over and around giant boulders and slabs we scrambled until I reached a point where I didn't have a good hand hold and the pitch was too steep. So there we stayed. The warm granite slabs baking in the sunshine seemed like a great place to wait for the others. When Gloria returned she immediately went for a dip in one of the pools. Great idea! I was right behind her. Aaahhh... Jim doesn't share my enthusiasm to jump into any body of clear water so he happily stayed perched on his rock.
After several days of working fine, the watermaker had a problem. Of course it was a weekend. Jim did everything he could think of to fix it but couldn't. So into Nelson Marina we came looking for a technician and hoping for some insight from Spectra in California. We figured we'd buy some water jugs and a funnel in case we needed to make some sort of water catchment system. Well, sure enough, it seems to have fixed itself. Jim's not sure why and that's not a perfect solution. But at least it's working again.
A high will settle over the South Island tomorrow for several days so it is the window we've been waiting for. In a few hours we will head off to Milford Sound. We should be there in 4-5 days.