Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Stewart Island, Riviera of the Southern OceanYauchts in view from Sails Ashore

Are there any vessels left in West Haven ??

Every summer the Island plays host and destination to a few visiting yachts. And apart from the regulars from Bluff and Otago Harbour there always seemed to be more flying overseas flags, rather than New Zealand vessels. When we were chartering we’d run across them around the coastal anchorages. But never large numbers, probably most seasons maybe  a dozen to a dozen and a half.

This year of course no overseas vessels at all, and the Kiwi boats locked into New Zealand waters. And boy, has it been busy. No idea how many have been down, but to look out our windows and see 12 vessels in sight has been just a bit mind blowing. 

Stewart Island Hits the Big Time

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry while on a road tour when I cam across a “Stop Go Man”  Actually a pretty good thing for visitors as they were building more footpaths….. the Visitor Levy in action and being put to good use !!

Stop Go Man on Stewart Island
Grapes on the Vine at Sails Ashore

Grapes, Yum

Kaka Love Grapes

When we bought what was to become “Sails Ashore” we had a little money left over. Would we buy a lounge suite or a glass house??. The glass house won hands down, and the first thing to go in was a grape vine…. Black Hamburg. It’s a very heavy cropper and produces lovely sweet, but not too sweet grapes. Which we and our guests enjoy. Occasionally I’ll freeze some of the ripest and as frozen fruit they are great with ice cream. Don’t ever allow them to thaw as they go slimy and are quite disgusting.

Oh, and the kaka love them as well, but not the skins which they carefully avoid while eating and then messily discard

Last of Our Native OrchidsAutumn Orchid

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago it hasn’t been a good orchid year. The last of the summer orchids is Earina autumnalis  ( Autumn or Easter Orchid) and as it’s name suggests  shows up in mid Autumn and will flower into May.

But not this year. I saw our first blooms in the 1st week of February, and many are already finished. So I doubt there will be any left in an other couple of weeks.

E. autumnalis is about the only orchid we find down here with any scent. ( Although if enough blooms in one place I’ve once picked up its cousin E. mucronata )    And autumnalis is really pungent. Walk past it in the forest and there’s a lovely waft of Jasmine . But put a sprig in your bedroom and in the morning that jasmine is overlaid with a very chemically toilet cleaner smell.