Well it’s official, we have now been waiting so long to go to Tonga that Pat became a Grandad! Lucas Raymond Corbett, our latest potential crew member, finally made an appearance on the 7th June, coincidentally the same day as our new temperature sensor turned up! We look forward to welcoming young Lucas and his Mum and Dad onboard.
|Our latest potential crew member, Lucas Raymond Corbett with his Mum|
|Thankful to be in the marina!|
With an evil looking tropical low heading across our planned path we could not leave directly for Tonga, but instead chose to use the extra days of fine weather in NZ to cruise up the coast and enjoy the sunshine. On Friday we departed Marsden Cove and motor-sailed north as far as Mimiwhangata Bay. This is a beautifully sheltered bay which we had previously visited in January on our way south. We had a lovely evening at anchor here, though a lot colder than our previous visit.
|The embroidery continues ...|
|A sublime sunset at anchor|
|Afternoon tea and cake - we're civilised boat!|
On Saturday, we continued north and dropped into Whangamumu Bay for an hour to show Leanne the whaling station. We then had a lovely sail out around Cape Brett and into the Bay of Islands. We managed to get X-Pat up to 8.4 knots on a close reach heading around the Cape and then had a nice run into the Bay. We dropped anchor around mid afternoon in the aptly named Paradise Bay, for another peaceful sheltered night.
|More cheese Gromit?|
|Sundowners in any weather|
On Sunday the skies looked a bit threatening and so we motored up the channel and are now berthed at the Bay of Islands Marina, where we originally arrived in NZ back in December. We have come full circle.
We have had a nice few days at the marina, doing final provisioning, cleaning up the boat yet again and getting our final internet fix before departure. Today Leanne headed off to see the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, whilst Pat and Debi headed across to Russell on the ferry for lunch at the Duke of Malborough Hotel. We had a nice relaxed lunch with some good beer and finished off with a whisky in front of a log fire. Luxury compared with the prospects of ten days at sea!
So tomorrow we will finally leave New Zealand. We have booked our appointment with customs at 09:30 tomorrow and then we will be heading out across the bay with a plan to land at either Va Va’u or Ha’apai islands in Tonga in about 8-10 days time.