Thursday 23 June
The advantage of travelling south on the shortest day of the year was first light was just before 8am and sunrise wasn’t until 8.30 am, making it very easy to enjoy looking east down Dusky Sound while having breakfast. We had spent the night in Ship Cove, where in 1773 Captain Cook had tied his ship the Resolution to a rata tree for 6 weeks while his crew recovered and repaired sails following 122 days at sea, searching for Great Southern land, south of New Zealand. A short trip in the RIB tenders and a walk took us up to Astronomers Point where Cook’s men had cleared about an acre of land and accurately fixed the geographical position of New Zealand. Then a walk down to a freshwater stream where Cook set the first brewery to make spruce beer from rimu and manuka to cure scurvy with rum and sugar added to make it drinkable.
Next stop was Anchor Island and Luncheon Cove where the first European house and ship was built in New Zealand and the slaughtering seals started. The ship ended up being used by the survivors of the first European shipwreck, whose crew finished the ship and sailed back to Australia. There is very little left of these sites but we enjoyed exploring the beaches and coastal forests. Jocy thinks a rock overhang she explored may have been home to a Maori family that met those early settlers. With a forecast for sea swells increasing, Matt our captain decided to head, 2 ½ hours in open seas, south to Chalky Inlet while we could.