NZ Blog 9. Coromandel Peninsular. 36.36.77S 175.26.54E

David Batten
Thu 23 Feb 2017 07:03
February 20 and bright sunshine and minimal wind in the morning for a motor out of Ruthe’s Passage, heading for the Coromandel Peninsular.  Sails up for first time for days as the wind gets up and a pleasant beat to Squadron Bay to clear some cobwebs, with 2 reefs in the main, full genoa and small seas and the wind on the nose.  The peninsular has spectacular scenery, but being very high, the winds it produces are blustery and we had several sharp squalls in the afternoon, not clearing until too late to explore. 
The Headland we went round to get to Squadron Bay
The majestic scenery as we motor north
As there did not appear to be much access to any walking areas, we did not linger, but moved on the next day with the intention of stopping on one of the small islands off the coast.  (Skipper’s wife wanted to stop in a nice sounding bay off the mainland, but Skipper thought the islands looked more fun).  Actually, with the wind in the east and somewhat blustery, the island anchorages on the leeward side are really too small for a boat of Alcedo’s size, as they are unusually deep for this part of the world and don’t have much swinging room in the protected water.  They also looked singularly uninviting in the cloudy conditions. 
The not so friendly looking anchorage off Motuwi Island
Having passed the wife’s choice of Ngohitauna Bay, we had little choice other than go on to Colville Bay, which would have been lovely except it took some time to get the anchor to dig in and even then, it was making ominous rumbling noises.  Actually, when we could see the bottom the next morning, it looked like sand and shells as expected, but we did set the anchor alarm and had two disturbances as the boat swung with the tide.  However, we did have a very pleasant afternoon stroll along the beach and behind the New Zealand equivalent of a caravan site and saw a family of Californian Quail of all things.
Alcedo anchored in Colville Bay.  We were the only yacht there
Mr and Mrs Californian Quaile
Now we are heading for Great Barrier Island and in theory, better weather if the forecasts are to be believed.
Leaving Colville Bay in the morning light