NZ Blog 3. Tues 31 Jan 2017. 36.37.17S 174.49.56E

David Batten
Tue 31 Jan 2017 06:23
We have now had another 2 days of lovely sunshine, bikini weather during the day, duvet at night (or at least the skipper seams to need one!). 
Yesterday we went all of 6 miles or so from Moturekareka Island to Otarawaro Bay, a lovely bay at the south west entrance of Muhurangi Harbour.  Very popular, what with the good  weather and and it being a local holiday there were lots of yachts.  As it is an ARC Regional Park, there is excellent walking easily accessible and we went by Kayak to the beach.  We had the place to ourselves once clear of the beach and enjoyed a peaceful walk with just some Eastern Rosellas, Tuis, a couple of Californian Quaile and some magpies for company.  Stunning views and lovely countryside.
The view from the walk above Otarawao Bay, looking North up Mahurangi Harbour
Looking inland on the other side of the Mahurangi Reserve headland
The male Californian Grouse, who can’t make us out
After another peaceful night with somewhat less boats around, as many have obviously returned to Aukland,  we set off again with virtually no wind this morning to go round to the south side of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula as the forecast was for North Westerlies this afternoon/evening.  We passed blue penguins resting in the calm waters, lots of shark fins and some beautiful Gannets.  We are now anchored off Te Harui Bay, which like all the bays on this side of the Peninsular, is very shallow and only really sheltered from the north, but there is very little wind at the moment, so we are hoping for a peaceful night. 
Alcedo anchored off Te Haruhi Bay, looking west.
The best form of ship to shore transfer here
This bay is part of the Shakespear Regional Park and we have had another lovely walk with very few other people around and more good bird watching.  This time a delightful family of New Zealand Dotterels, endemic and threatened, so we felt privileged to be able to watch them, plus lots of Tuis, Silvereyes, blackbirds, a song thrush and a Tom Tit, as well as some sort of not clearly identified parakeet.
One of the parent New Zealand Dotterels....
....and a well camouflaged baby Dotterel
Tomorrow we will probably go to Gulf Harbour Marina for some shopping and preparation for Kate’s visit and for a visit from Alcedo’s designer, Christian Stimson, so he can see how his drawings look for real.