Heading South!

P1010508I stayed in Westhaven Marina for the weekend and Tiggy joined me on board. We spent time in Ponsonby at a Pride festival, ate at Kawloon Poon and Shaky Isles and met up with Brendon, Emily and their new (2 weeks ago) baby. It was a fantastic weekend, and it really hurt when Tig’s left for Sydney on Monday.

My melancholy spurred me into action on Tuesday, but 25 knot winds on the nose sent me scurrying for a quiet anchorage in Kauti Point Bay. Waiheke island looks like a great spot to kayak round as the east and north coast has plenty of empty bays to (sly) camp in.

P1010498The next morning I made for the open ocean, passed Great Barrier and sailed into the next day towards Cape Runaway. I passed inside the Great Mercury Islands with Freddy blasting out in tribute.

The next big island was White

P1010527Island where there were signs of volcanic activity but it was too rough to stop. I was heading into a second night without stopping but the wind was on the nose gusting at 25 knots so I decided to get an anchorage and a nights sleep so I headed for a tight little anchorage at Cape Runaway. All in all I had sailed 182 nm (about 330km).

I left there today at lunch time having worked out the tides for East Cape. As it turned out I had 28 knots of wind from behind, and flew through the bumpy bits at 6 knots with half a jib up 1 hours before slack water.

It was amazing how quickly things settled down once in the lee of the land. From 27kn winds and 3m confused seas to 12kn and a smooth 1/2 m swell within 10 minutes – heavenly…

P1010545

Opua to Auckland

anchorageThis week I sailed from the Bay of Islands south to Auckland to meet up with Tigs for the weekend. It was a bit stormy in the Bay so I sheltered behind a headland for the night in 30 knots. I then headed out in the lighter winds but things got a little bouncy by 10 am and I anchored again at the back of Whangaruru island. I had an excellent snorkel through caves and deep canyons there and left the next day in much more pleasant weather to pass round Cape Brett. I believe Mike and Kirst got engaged at the point which is a long day walk from the nearest road across pretty precipitous edges. There’s a great Docs hut to stay in though which makes things easier. Me and Tigs did this walk a couple of years ago and I remember having very sore legs at the end of the day. goosewinged Over the next few days I sailed down this glorious coast stopping in Urquharts Bay and Swansea Bay on Kawau Island. On Kawau I found the old Boating Club, had beers and showers and did my washing. It is a great place with colourful locals and great staff – well worth the stop over. I then had an easy run into Auckland punctuated with radio chatter about a woman who had driven off the end of the pier and was rescued by two passing cops with only minutes to spare before her car sank. Lucky lady! I’m in Auckland now for the weekend and am very happy to have Tiggy here to enjoy the sights with me! Next is a mad dash south! sunset

Whangaroa Harbour

At the end of last week I was waiting for money to arrive with Ross (the guy who had just made me a new Jib). The money didn’t arrive so I headed north for an explore rather than hang about.

I arrived at the Cavalli Islands on Saturday night, and anchored 100m away from the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior. The French sunk her in Aukland because they did not want Greenpeace protesting their Nuclear testing in the Pacific. I’m not sure that it constitutes terrorism because the President personally sanctioned the attack by French military, but it was pretty heinous. Anyway, one person died and they sent the Rainbow Warrior to its grave in these most beautiful islands.

I met up with some locals on their boat and had a monster hangover the next day, but carried on to anchor briefly at Stephenson Island where I planted a Scottish flag and claimed it for Lucy and her family.

I then pulled into Whangaroa Harbour – I had been told it is gorgeous, but the guide books said little. It was absolutely stunning – photo below:

P1010373

Where I came into this bay is on the left and I was surrounded by peaks and ramparts – fabulous.

I then came back down to Paihia, sorted out money for Ross and ended up with an even bigger hangover but had a great night with Ross on his balcony looking out at Siren Song on anchor in the bay.

We’ve had a bit of a blow come through over the last couple of days (gusts of 30 knots) so I’ve been hiding in bays and moving early in the mornings in the calmest weather. I’m hoping to make a start for Auckland tomorrow if the wind drops as forecast.

I got a bit of a classic shot of the boat today out of a cave I had snorkelled into looking for Crayfish (no crays, just the photo). You can just see Siren Song if you squint and zoom.

P1010392

Sydney to NZ video

Hi all,

At long last I’ve uploaded the video of this trip. I have had issues with You Tube and copyright as the music is fairly recent so I have had to publish on Dropbox.

hope you are all well,

Jason

Bay of Islands II

image

There are around 150 islands dotted about the place, with good anchorages for any wind direction. Most of the islands are not developed, and the beaches offer good swimming, oysters, winkles, some clams and plenty of fishing round about.

Cook anchored in the bay on his way to preparing the invasion of Australia and the Treaty of Waitangi was drawn up here in 1840 – it still acts as the linchpin of race relations in New Zealand today.

I have anchored in 5 different but beautiful bays this week, only sharing one of them. I have visited “Zoe” and “Florence”, both elderly ladies that could not hide their elegant lines even through years of hard work and exposure to the elements. I have caught a tune, been given a tuna and eaten shellfish off the rocks.

Banks and their inability to transfer money in this digital age are holding me up, but once I have my sail I’ll be heading south to join Tigs in Aukland for a long weekend before heading further south.

Bay of Islands

P1010317

Hi All,

My engine is now sorted and I’m having a wee play round the Bay of Islands whilst I wait for winch parts to arrive in Opua.

There are about a hundred small bays with decent holding, great fishing, and access to walking tracks on the islands. There are plenty of oysters, winkles, whelks and urchins to be had as well so I’m eating like a king.

All the modifications seem to work well but I won’t really know until I get into some wind. Going to head down to Hauraki Gulf pretty soon I think, meet up with Tiggs then start heading South….

Video of the crossing from Sydney to here is nearly there!

JC