NZ Blog 7. Oneroa Bay. 36.46.64S 175.00.81

David Batten
Mon 20 Feb 2017 05:18
16 February 2017.  Today it is raining, really raining.  We are motoring head to wind out of Oneroa Bay in full oilskins, fully clothed and none too warm.  It wasn’t much better when we left Islington Bay on Tuesday 14, when there was no wind, no visibility and we were motoring with radar and look out to avoid the ferries which continued to hammer at 25 knots across the mouth of the bay and then across to Waiheke.  By chance, we timed it perfectly with one crossing the bay just as we arrived at the entrance and another leaving Matiatia Bay just at we passed it.  We had the company of another yacht, also heading for Oneroa Bay who had clearly looked up the ferry times and we arrived in Oneroa Bay together to find a reasonable anchorage with some swell after the strong northerlies, but quite tolerable.  We managed a walk ashore and a visit to the very touristy but pleasant town of Oneroa, with touristy retail therapy and replenishment of some essential supplies like milk and beer.  We managed to anchor the dinghy so that we did not have to drag it too far down the beach on the return to the boat. 
Yesterday was a much better day, with sun in the morning and a very busy day.  We had coffee with Tim and Ginny Le Couteur and an excellent lunch in Matiatia courtesy of Kate at the pavilion set up for the Headland Sculpture on the Gulf Trail as recommended by Ginny.  This was both a lovely walk, some of it on Maori owned land that is not usually open to the public, with the addition of some very interesting and some rather too modern sculptures for our conservative tastes but all in a fantastic setting.  Then tea with the cousin of one of our longest standing friends and a partner in the firm.  A wonderful octogenarian who was quite happy to invite some perfect strangers into her house and entertain them for tea.  We hope she enjoyed it as much as we did!   The only damper on the day was that it started to rain again as we reached the dinghy, which had been left at the top of the beach for the top of the tide and which was now miles away from the sea, it being low water.  The New Zealanders all have wheels on their dinghies, a necessity in this part of the world for aging sailors with cranky backs and big outboards!!
Sea Plane taking off from the beach at Oneroa Bay
Coffee and croissant with Tim and Ginny
The Gateway sculpture at the beginning and end of the Headland Sculpture on the Gulf
A sculpture of the rare white herons, now only 150 breeding pairs
Te Rerenga Wai o Tikapa Moana, or the sculpture of the Flowing Waters of Tikapa Moana, with Matiatia bay in the background
So now we are on our way to Rotoroa for a mini RCC meet organised by Tim in weather that reminds us very much of sailing in Great Britain.  Hope for better tomorrow!