Picton lies on the north coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The entrance to the fjord (for lack of a better word) on which Picton lies is from the Cook Strait, the body of water lying between the North and South Island. It’s easier to explain with one of my ‘charts’.
Up on the Bridge at 4:15 a.m. as we rounded the headlands and made our approach for the inner channels. The pilots had requested us be at the boarding grounds at 5 a.m.; they had another ship coming in and they needed me to be docked early, so that they could jump back on the pilot boat and go out to her.
Of course, at that time of the morning, it was still pitch black outside. The dim outline of the passing mountains could be seen against the stars and the only other lights were those of navigation markers; the occasional blinking light on a headland and the ‘steering’ lights. These are vectored, ahead of a ship when on a course for a reasonable time, they show white if one is on track and then red or green if one moves off it. In the chart above, the long route from the Strait inwards has one, the light can be seen on the chart. (Click on it for larger).
Into the final turn and the dawn is beginning to break, the pier on which we were to dock to the right of the ferry berths, (which were in continual use during our stay, They come from Wellington, a large city on the south end of North Island). The pier is shorter than the Amsterdam, added to which , near the bow, there is not enough water for us to get into the corner, as a consequence we stick out 40 meters from the end of the pier.
Safely fast and the shore gangway secured, guests had the day to enjoy the small town and the world-famous vineyards of nearby Marlborough. One of the finest white wines and one of my favourites, “Cloudy Bay” comes from the vineyards here.
First, some of my photos, (I stayed on board) and then others from Karen, (yes, on my camera) 🙂
K1, K2 and Hazel went for a wander into the town and then jumped on a bus for the wineries.
Thence onward, to the wineries.
We departed at 5 p.m. Picton can be known to be windy later in the day and we had gusts of 25 knots wind rolling over the hills surrounding us. Backing out of the berth a good distance away from the pier, before we swung through 180° and headed out for the transit. What I was unable to photograph in the darkness, could now be achieved……..