Cruising for lunch at Lochmara
Caution was thrown to the wind on Saturday (along with practical stuff like mowing lawns and building a fence) and we happily accepted an invitation to sail out to Lochmara Lodge in the Sounds for lunch.
Three couples boarded the yacht at Waikawa late morning and headed into Queen Charlotte Sounds on a perfectly calm, clear morning. No point even hoisting a sail because of the lack of wind so we had to rely on the quiet diesel motor to push us along at a gentle 7 or 8kmh.
The Sound and the bay were virtually abandoned, although a ferry did pass in the distance to create enough wake to remind us we were on the sea. The only sea life we saw was a lone seal that lazily rolled over and gave us a the once-over as it headed further out from Picton.
Lochmara was sitting in clear afternoon sunshine and we sat outside on one of the terraces for lunch, with pukeko plucking at our shoelaces. Even Wilson the resident dog came down for a look (he's probably not called Wilson, but he's an identical twin of the terrier on that stormy Lotto ad).
The only annoyance was the two jetboats trying to outdo each other with noise out in the bay. I suppose they have a right to be there, but honestly, they could have taken their high-pitched whine somewhere else.
By the time we were ready for dessert, the sun had disappeared behind the hill and we headed inside, where a wood burner was cranking out the heat.
The perfect end to the perfect day was having enough wind to fill the sail for a gentle tack and jibe back to Waikawa, with the sun on our backs.
A glorious day that underlines why people feel so strongly about what happens in the region and what developments are allowed in the Sounds.
Another highlight of the weekend was Ben Curran winning the title of junior photographer of the year at the Canon media awards for the second year in a row.
Ben moved to Hamilton just before Christmas to work for the Waikato Times, but all the photos which won him the award were taken during his work in Marlborough last year.
As anyone who has been the subject of one of his photos will know, Ben has a great way of relaxing people and an ability to look at his subject in a different way.
Credit for his win also goes to the mentoring he's had from senior Express photographers Derek Flynn and Scott Hammond.
This is the fourth year on the trot Express photographers have won one of these awards.
An excellent result. An excellent weekend.
The Marlborough Express