Friday, May 2, 2008

Sailing north in a round-about way

We left our home-in-NZ marina, Gulf Harbour, the last friday in April...just over a week ago. We sailed SW to Waiheke Island near Auckland, to visit Mike and Christine who we met while touring south island. They showed us around and we visited beautiful vineyards and had dinner after having them out to the boat for a drink.

There was a front coming in so early Sat morning we headed for the security of Great Barrier Island where they chopped up all the huge kauri trees [like redwoods] for English ships over 100 years ago. There must be over 100 coves to anchor in all around this amazingly picturesque location. We just sat out the weather for 2 days in a cove of our own off Fitzroy Bay.

We tried making some headway north but got less than halfway. The 2nd of 4 weather systems in a week came in so we ducked into The Nook 6 miles up the Whangarei River for 2 more days. Next we tried to head north again to try to get to Bay of Islands. That's where all the cruisers are waiting for the right weather to check out.

We only motored 15 miles and the weather whipped up again so we ducked way deep up into Whangaruru Bay overnight and tried to head north again in the morning but only went another 8 miles before the winds started whipping around the cliffs and we ducked into Whangamumu Cove for a wonderful anchorage well protected by cliffs. It all ended up being too little wind or too much rain and wind, always on the nose!!!

I will add a film clip of this astoundingly lush Whangamumu Cove to the Youtube site soon. There are the remains of an old whaling station there, on a creek with a waterfall, to explore. There were rusting boilers still in place where 100 whalers boiled down the fat into oil. Lynn was ready to move there but the government owns it all as parkland and there are no houses.

On Sat May 3 we left serene Whangamumu to head motoring into wind and waves around Cape Brett [big rock with hole in it] towards Bay of Islands to anchor in Russell, reputed to be an old rowdy and sinful whaling port. We'll see how much energy we have left for getting rowdy!!! Mostly we need to dump trash...or rubbish as we now call it here in NZ, do laundry and get some more food while waiting for the right weather window to head to Fiji. Also try to go to church one more time. Religion comes easily when facing the ocean passages!!!

We will post a message here as to when we sail out of NZ...2-3 weeks...and will ask for prayers from the "belivers" who read our posts. It's still storm season and once in a while they still have cyclones in May and June if the water hasn't cooled enough and it's cooling slowly this season.

What took us 3 easy days to sail in Nov has taken 8 days to motor now in the fall weather.....which is ALWAYS changing. AND WE LISTEN TO WEATHER PREDICTIONS FOR THEIR ENTERTAINMENT VALUE!!! They are never right!!! Even the NZ weather folks say they can't guess further than 2 days ahead.

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

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Anonymous said...

Love reading about these islands. Keep the news coming! Nancy

Good Anchorage said...

We have linked your blog to Whangamumu Anchorage on Good Anchorage to provide more information to fellow mariners.

Look forwardto you sharing more experiences with Mariners

Good Anchorage Team