Tutukaka Harbour. 35:22.6S,174:32.1E

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Sun 3 Dec 2017 00:10

From the top of Roberton Island we had seen a couple of pleasant looking anchorages on neighbouring Moturua Island, so we headed straight there; under motor as there was no wind. The second anchorage we looked at seemed well sheltered with 4-5 metres of water – just perfect for anchoring and we found a spot just behind our friend Michael on ‘Henrietta’.


When we stopped the motor we noticed that the pump that delivers water from the tanks to the taps was running and a quick check showed that it wasn’t the usual cause: a dripping tap.  The second check showed that the tanks were empty and the bilge was full so while Sarah pumped the bilge dry, Phil dug down to the bottom of the bottomless locker in the cockpit and found that an old pipe connected to the new water heater had not made a good enough seal, letting the water all drain away. The only damage done was to our egos, but when we had headed back into the marina the next morning to refill the tanks and  buy some new pipe from the Chandlery we were glad they gave us a berth on the work dock where we wouldn’t see anyone we knew.


The advantage of going back and forth to the marina was a number of great sails.  When we headed back out again on Saturday there was an easterly breeze and in the protected waters of the Bay of Islands we had a good windward sail past Roberton  and Moturua Islands to the wonderfully named Urupukapuka Island, which is almost surrounded by other islands and well protected from the swell. We had a map showing a number of walking trails, so we launched the dinghy and headed up from the beach.  The trail took us round the north coast, up and down steps past cliffs and chasms, all the walks we have done here have been harder than we expected, but the views over the bay were worth it.



Our anchorage at Otiao Bay, Urupukapuka Island





Bay of Islands from Urupukapuka Island


As we now had a deadline to get south to Whangarei, we left on a beautiful, calm, morning the next day and motored out of the Bay of Islands through the narrow channel between Cape Brett and Motukokaka Island – having first watched another cruising yacht, ‘Serengeti’ go through without problem.  The wind picked up later in the morning and we were able to sail, making good progress to get to Tutukaka Harbour, a trip of 40 miles.


Cape Brett and Motukokaka Island



Motukokaka Island from the south.  Hole in the Rock is a popular day trip destination


We liked Tutukaka Harbour so decided to stay an extra night as it was only 20 miles to the bottom of the Whangarei River










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