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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Storm Bound in Tutukaka

Well we are still in Tutakaka. We arrived on Saturday and spent Sunday cleaning up the boat and cleaning the teak decks, a job that seems to come around all too frequently. On Monday we decided to take a shuttle bus to Whangarei for Debi to get her hair done, do a spot of provisioning and investigate a better way of getting an affordable data allowance. When we got to the town centre at about 9:15 everything seemed very deserted with only a few shops open. It took us about 45 minutes to confirm our fears. It was a bank holiday! Thankfully a few shops were open so we managed the provisioning and we managed to get a really good data deal through Vodafone. We are now testing how much data we can chew through when we are both stuck on the boat waiting on weather! 

Yesterday we had one of the highlights of the trip so far, we went diving at the Poor Knights Islands. This a marine reserve about an hour off the coast and the impact of having reserve status is immediately apparent as soon as you arrive. The water was crystal clear and there were huge schools of Trevally just feeding on the surface. You didn’t even have to get into the water to appreciate that this place is absolutely teaming with life. However, when you do get in there, the experience is just breath taking. We saw Trevally, Snapper, Stingrays, Bluefish, Kingfish, Lord Howe Coral fish and lots of nudibranchs and urchins. We also watched cormorants diving from the surface and fishing which was fascinating. A beautiful location.
Preparing to dive the Poor Knight Islands
Our second dive site - Middle Arch

This was the first diving either of us had done for nine years and so we decided to do a bit of a refresher, practicing skills etc. for the first part of the first dive. We were both a bit nervous and had a few issues with equalisation etc. but generally good. The crew from Dive Tutukaka! were fantastic and we are both keen to do some more diving on this trip, now that we have got ourselves back up to speed. We may even take X-Pat back to the Poor Knights and do some snorkelling.

We were all set to leave today (Wednesday) but it looks like we are going to catch the edge of tropical storm Fehi which is about to batter the west coast of the south island. We could have probably got a bit further south today but we would have been at anchor somewhere and decided it was safer to stay here in the marina. So instead, we went for a walk up to Tutukaka Lighthouse. It has to be said that this could easily win the prize as the most pathetic lighthouse you’ll ever see. But it does the job as a navigational aid. 

It was so windy that this mermaid got blown up onto the headland!

Tutukaka Lighthouse - they don't build them like they used to.

It might get a bit windy tomorrow

Stormy weather over Tutukaka Harbour

Tomorrow we are going to sit out the stormy weather and after that we’ll see …

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