A short interlude at sea. 35:44.6S, 174:21E
We left Auckland on Thursday, after a quick trip to Tauranga to sell the car back to the people we bought it from. That made the cruising fund look a bit more healthy.
We loved the colours and people in this view of Auckland. The Sky Tower dominates from all directions.
Our first stop was less than 15 miles from the marina to Waikalabubu Bay on Motutapu Island. After 6 weeks in the marina we didn’t want to go to far before Phil went down to check the propeller for barnacle growth. Any growth can make the engine really inefficient. We had a great sail with a good breeze behind us, and tucked ourselves well into the anchorage, but there was still a swell running and rocking the boat, so the propeller had to wait for another day.
On Friday we covered the 30 miles back to Kawau Island, to Mansion House Bay. There was no wind so we had to motor and the engine seemed OK, but Phil went down in the calmer water and removed a couple of large shellfish and some other growth. The Mansion House that the bay is named for was built 140 years ago for the mine superintendant on the island, then was bought and developed by Sir George Grey while he was Governer. The garden was an interesting mix of native trees and plants that you would find in an English garden. We had a cream tea in the garden tea room, with an audience of Peacocks and Wekas watching for crumbs.
The Mansion House on Kawau Island
Serenity at anchor in Mansion House Bay
We took a short walk to Ladies Bay, which used to be reserved for Ladies to bathe.
Peacock after crumbs
It is over 40 miles from Kawau Island to the entrance to the Hatea River, and Whangarei and which would have meant a very early morning to get to there while the tide was still in our favour, so we took 10 miles off the trip by stopping at Leigh in Omaha Bay. We had to anchor quite a long way out due to moorings for local boats, so it was another rolly night. We were up at 0600 for the final passage and as is often the case there was little wind at first, but we eventually got sailing until, on the final approach to the river, we were storming along. We sailed up the river until it was time to turn and make our way between the sand banks to Parua Bay, arriving just before high water.
One of the Hen and Chicken islands close to Whangarei. We think it looks more like a boar lying down.
Serenity is booked to be lifted out on Wednesday, and as the yard had asked us to be up the river on Tuesday so that they can take some measurements, we came up river on the tide on Monday. We can’t go into a marina until after the hull is clean, as we have spent more than a month in Auckland where there are some invasive marine species that they are trying to keep out of Northland, so we have anchored in the river near the boatyard. The wind has picked up today, and may get worse so we are staying on board and keeping an eye on things.
The ‘hatch umbrella’ Sarah made while we were in Auckland. There is an open hatch underneath
so we can have the hatch open in the rain.
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