It’s supposed to be summer here but you wouldn’t believe it looking at the weather. The story for the last ten days has really been one of dashing between locations between the storms and taking advantage of the odd good day to do some walks.
We ended up staying in Tutukaka two days longer than originally planned. On our last day there, the lighthouse which we had visited a few days before recorded wind gusts of 52 knots! We may have been bored but we were glad to have been in the marina.
We finally left on the 2nd February and made a dash for Urquhart Bay which is opposite the Marsden Point port and oil terminal. Despite what you may think it was quite a nice anchorage, which was just as well as we were then stuck there for three days waiting on strong winds passing through again. We even had to resort to playing scrabble!
We finally departed Urquhart’s Bay on the 5th and made a dash for the beautiful island of Kawau. Of course there was no wind at all for the journey and so we ended up motoring the whole 43 nm. This was a nice trip with lots of petrels and shearwaters flying around us a lots of blue penguins in the water.
|Sunset over the oil terminal at Marsden Point|
|A moment of calm in North Cove, Kawau Island|
The next day (Tuesday) we motored around to the next bay known as Bon Accord Harbour and anchored initially in Mansion House Bay. The island was once a busy copper mining settlement. The old engine house down on the shore was very reminiscent of those in Cornwall. The island was also home to Sir George Grey who bought the island when he was serving his second term of Governor of New Zealand. He planted hundreds of different plants and trees in the Mansion House valley. The flora and fauna today is therefore quite exotic. We had a good walk up the hill and down to the copper mine. We thought we had seen our first Tui, a bird that has had a beer named after it! Unfortunately it turned out to be a New Zealand pigeon.
|New Zealand or Cornwall?|
|A young copper miner|
|The Engine House|
|Mansion House Bay|
|The Mansion House|
|A New Zealand Pigeon, not a Tui!|
On the 7th we departed Kawau for Gulf Harbour marina. We then had a busy day cleaning the boat and then got the ferry into Auckland city to pick up a hire car. We then got all our provisioning done, including topping up the Tui beer! That should keep us in good shape for the next three weeks.
On the 8th we picked up friends Linda and Sam, from the airport. They had just flown in from the USA. The idea was for them to spend a few days sailing with us, but the weather was so appalling that we had to abandon that idea. We had a nice but windy walk on Thursday afternoon, followed by tea and cake! In the evening we all met up with friends, Mark and Cherise, who had climbed to Everest Base camp with us last year. It was nice to see them again.
|Linda, Sam and Debi on a windy walk|
|Glad not to be out there|
Yesterday we drove into Auckland, dropped the car off and went to the maritime museum in the afternoon to hide from the rain! They had some big boats there!
|Black Magic - winner of the America's Cup 1995|
Linda and Sam have left us today to head south, hopefully towards better weather. We are going to sit still for another day or so until things at least dry up a bit and then continue south.