A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Friday, 4 May 2012

Good days and bad days

After an abysmal summer of wind and rain, Autumn has turned out to be a pearler!! April was the warmest and driest for many years and, so far, May is following suit. This morning it dawned crisp and clear and still and I just had to get up and take some pix of the upper Waitemata Harbour and Auckland City from our upstairs deck. From the blogs I’ve been reading on the AGLCA website, we can expect a lot of the Loop to look quite similar and therefore familiar. Hopefully the weather will be kind and bring us lots of good days like this.

An hour later though, around 7am, this guy began to have a real BAD day. In perfect conditions, he has managed to sail out of the clearly marked channel to our marina and on to a sand bar. Perhaps he was following a Magenta line instead of watching the channel markers.

Since the tide had begun to fall, he was always going to get stuck and with tidal ranges at the moment around 3 metres (10ft) he’s going to be there for some time. By low tide at 1.30pm he is high and dry.

Still, its a nice day for a stroll on the sand, and you've got to do something to while away the hours.

If he is lucky, he should be afloat again around 7 o’clock tonight. So yes, we do have groundings in New Zealand too – in fact they are a regular occurrence up this way. But get caught just after high tide and you’ve got a 12 hour wait before you get off.

Everyone either goes aground sometime in their boating career (and yes, I have), or lies about it - but right here it soooo public. It can really ruin your day


  1. Could you explain the term pearler and its origins. I assume that it's meant to mean superb or something of the like?

    Grant T

    1. Originally Australian slang for "something most excellent" but now in common use in New Zealand as well. As for origins.....who knows? Ask 100 different Aussies and you'd probably get a hunert deefrint ansers.....mate (one of which might even be true).

      Regrettably the "pearler" days have passed and we have snow forecast down to sea level in the South Island tonight and 140km/hr winds forecast for the North.