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Why Wet Jacket

Wet Jacket is a stunning marine reserve located between Dusky and Breaksea Sounds in the southwest corner of Fiordland National Park. It was named Wet Jacket Arm by Captain Cook and his crew on their second trip to New Zealand in 1773 when they moored in Pickersgill Harbour for 6 weeks.

The name Wet Jacket was actually chosen for the area due to the sodden nature of the crew's jackets after spending many days in torrential Fiordland storms. As none of the area had European naming (and they weren't particularly inventive back then), it seemed more than appropriate at the time.

The significance of Wet Jacket isn't only of personal interest to the owner Greg Hay but also to New Zealand's history. Whilst there Captain Cook and his crew recorded a number of 'firsts' in the New Zealand history books, including 

  • Mapping the Transit of Venus to obtain latitude and longitude of New Zealand.
  • Recording ocean floor depths throughout the Dusky and Breaksea Sounds. Interestingly enough these measurements were still used by mariners until as recently as 25 years ago.
  • Witnessing the making of New Zealand's first ever beer - (Unfortunately it wasn't for pleasure but to prevent the onset of scurvy) 
  • And a last - Wet Jacket Arm was the last ever recorded sighting of moose in New Zealand. 

 Wet Jacket has a special place in the heart of the owner Greg Hay as well as it's historical significance to New Zealand. Having spent more than 20 years exploring Fiordland, predominantly in Dusky and Breaksea Sounds and Wet Jacket Arm, Greg Hay feels utterly at home here. He spends his time hunting and gathering using the local delicacies for indulging his passion for cooking and creating wild food dishes.

Greg is also passionate about wildlife conservation and is a Trustee for the Fiordland Conservation Trust, which is actively involved in projects to ensure the survival of some New Zealand's endangered native and endemic birds.

Naturally there are no grapes grown in Fiordland, or within 150 kilometres. Having the second highest level of rainfall in the World, it is hardly an ideal grape growing environment.