Islesburgh's First Cruise

Eun Mara main


Here is a brief report on "the First Cruise of the Islesburgh" (with a nod to Arthur Ransome). Alison and I managed to get the Islesburgh rigged in time to travel to Lake Te Anau for the New Year Cruise of the Southland Trailer Yacht Squadron. As it happened, only one boat from there was able to come, and only for a couple of days, but it was pleasant company while it lasted. The lake is a long one of north-south orientation, with three fiords off the west side, reaching into the rugged fastnesses of New Zealand's Fiordland. I have explored it fairly well over the years, by kayak and sailing dory. There was quite a strong northerly breeze coming down the lake all the time we were there, with white-caps all over the main part of the lake, rougher than I have usually seen it. We had a good sheltered anchorage at Dome Island, in the entrance to South Fiord, where we were able to moor up to the small beach, bow on, and climb on and off by a rope ladder hooked to the stem-head, bracing a foot against the bob-stay. We had an anchor off the stern and bow-lines to the trees. The boat was very comfortable to live in, for our eight nights on the water, with the good boom-tent that Alison had made covering the hatch and cockpit. It rained a lot and some days we stayed at Dome Island all day. Other days we sailed out on the lake under jib and mizzen, with the reefed main some of the time. We also set the No. 2 jib, while still in port, just for practice. One evening we motored up to Middle Fiord, with the bowsprit punching into the short steep waves, and anchored by both ends in a small lagoon at Erin Island for the night, and came back under jib and motor the next day. (Yes, the other one is called North Fiord.) On the last day, 8th January, we sailed back to Te Anau, just with the jib. The speed-log for this showed a maximum reading of 7.2 knots. We weren't pushing the sailing abilities of the boat this time, but I thought that for what we did she handled very well. Since then, we have been steadily working through a list of minor touch-ups, completions and improvements, ready for the next trip. There are a lot of different trips a boat can do on Lake Te Anau, and other lakes in Fiordland. Ian


Ready to rig








Lake te Anau


View aft


Dome Island


Some detailed shots taken after the cruise




Boom tent




Harbour furl






Side deck


Tabernacle, jib halyard


Tabernacle, main halyards