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Showing posts from December, 2017

Exploring the Bay of Islands

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We have spent the last five days exploring the islands. What a fantastic area to cruise around. It is all very sheltered and there are lots of anchorages in different bays and so there is shelter from just about any wind direction.
We started off in Oke Bay, a beautiful little bay with a nice beach and lined with trees. We then did a fairly big walk to Cape Brett which is at the southern end of the Bay of Islands. The walk was only 5km each way from Deep Water Bay, but there was a lot of up and down! There were great views from the Cape and it gave us an idea of what is to come as we head south.



We visited Paradise Bay, which lived up to its name. Although we went ashore here we didn’t do any of the walks on the island and so may have to go back. We then did an overnight in Pi Pi Bay. Although the snorkelling here was quite poor I did see a ray, which seemed to be getting cleaned by little cleaner fish.







We also visited Cook Bay on Motuarohia Island. The beach here turned out to be privat…

So who's idea was it to sail upwind?

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Well we got here, we are now safely tied up in the beautiful Bay of Islands Marina in Opua. 
It was upwind all the way and although the winds weren't too harsh (15-20 knots usually) it did become very tiresome living at an angle of 30 degrees. We did a total of 1482 nautical miles in 10.6 days, an average speed of 5.8 knots. Our average speed was actually pulled down by slow progress in the last couple of days. Up until then we had an average of over 7 knots.

Giving Bob (our auto helm) a rest When we rounded Cape Moreton on the evening of the first day we had over 20 knots of wind and so put two reefs in the main for a conservative first night at sea.  We ended up sailing almost the whole way with those two reefs in! In fact we sailed the whole of the first week on a port tack and it was quite a shock to the system to go onto a starboard tack and find everything falling in the opposite direction.
For the first few days the seas were quite lumpy and the winds strong.  Gwyn was jet lagg…