NZ - Wet and Windy - 35 15.372S 174 12.349E

Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 19 Dec 2010 08:05
Yes, we’ve finally moved from Opua, but not far! About 10 miles out into the Bay of Islands in a nice and snug anchorage in Assassination Bay (don’t yet know the history of the name). It’s part of a large inlet that’s tucked well in behind a peninsular and protected on virtually all sides. So the water’s flat and it’s very comfortable. The holding appears to be good, at least we haven’t moved in the 4 days we’ve been here. The aim was to start exploring the islands, but the lovely dry spell that we had came to an end as soon as we arrived in the anchorage and it’s been very wet and windy ever since. Being well sheltered this is a good anchorage in these conditions. Despite the rain it’s a lovely place and until yesterday we were only sharing it with 2 other boats. A few more came in, as did some other visitors – a pod of dolphins. They came in yesterday morning and swam close to the boat and stayed in or around the anchorage most of the day. Each time they came close we tried to get a better picture. Every so often they leapt out of the water and there’s been quite a lot of tail slapping going on. There are supposed to be several resident pods of dolphins in the Bay of Islands so we hoped we would see them, but were a bit surprised to see them in here as it’s quite shallow – we’re a fair way from shore and only in 20ft of water. The Blue Penguin is being more elusive. They’re the smallest penguin and supposed to be quite common around here, but we haven’t seen them yet. All the other varieties of Penguin (NZ has 6) are to be found in the South Island. The forecast is for more strong winds and heavy rain today, so it’s another day at anchor!

Wonder if it's the same one - they all look the same at this distance!
















The Red-billed gull(s) waiting to be fed - we haven't seen gulls for a very long time - not since the Lava Gulls in the Galapagos. There aren't any around the South Pacific islands.