So having spent hours trying to start the outboard last week we now find out (from Ash) that there’s an Australian product for stubborn engines appropriately called “Start Ya Bastard”. We are definitely getting some of that at the next provisioning stop! To be fair though the outboard has behaved impeccably since then. (Footnote from Debi: Pat did use the verbal form of this product in his efforts to fix the outboard)
We went ashore to Urupukapuka Island on Thursday and had a nice 6km walk around the island with some stunning views of the Bay of Islands. There was a relay race going on around the island whilst we were there, where the baton seemed to be a beer bottle! As we are still on dry January Pat was tempted to join in, but it all seemed too energetic, so we retired to X-Pat to resume relaxing.
|A walk around Urapukapuka Island|
On Friday we said goodbye to the Bay of Islands and headed north. We had a great sail for the first hour, with the new mainsail performing well and a pod of about 15 spinner dolphins keeping us company. However, the wind died after that and the engine came on for the rest of the way.
We are now anchored in Waitepipi Bay, part of Whangaroa Harbour and about 35nm north of the Bay of Islands. It is stunning here, with sheer rock faces and lots of native bush. Yesterday we took the dinghy up amongst some of the mangroves at high tide, which was beautiful. Pat also had a go with the fishing rod, but was clearly applying the wrong technique for the area and we ended up having vegetarian moussaka for supper!
|Across Waitepipi Bay|
|A view from the deck!|
|A trip in the dinghy|
|A cruise in the mangroves|
There are a lot of gannets here doing their spectacular diving for fish and being a lot more successful than Pat. We are surrounded by the sound of gannets plummeting into the water. Pat had a go at trying to capture the spectacle with the camera, but they were too quick to capture the plunge.
|About to take the plunge|
Today Debi has been for her regular 1km swim and Pat finished cleaning the bottom of the boat using the Hookah dive gear. We are now all ready to head south and plan to depart tomorrow (Monday) for Tasman Bay at the top of South Island. The wind looks like it will be fairly light and the expectation is that it will take us four days to get there. Our arrival is carefully planed for the 1st February, the end of dry January, when we plan to celebrate our arrival in South Island in style. Our progress can be followed in the “Our Position” part of this website or directly at http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/XPat