Whangamumu, Whangaruru and Mimiwhangata 35:25.8S 174:25.1E
What wonderful names they have here.
We had a quick visit back into the Marina for Thomas’s birthday, OCC get together, fitting of our new shroud, new alternator and starting to fit the new hatches. Plus a shopping trip to Pahia. In on Thursday out again Monday.
Now we are heading slowly south to Whangarei, we sailed out to Urapukapuka island for Monday night and on Tuesday moved round to Oke Bay. We had been told that this was one of the best bays in Bay of Islands and one that quite often has dolphins. We’d actually had a pod of dolphins swim past us while we were anchored off Pahia, but that doesn’t quite match the Orca’s that swam past Inge and Thomas on Saga. We did see one dolphin and one ray and most of the time it was a quiet anchorage.
Splendid isolation in Oke Bay
Looking back to Bay of Islands
Wednesday night saw us in Whangamumu, where there is an old whaling station. They used to herd the whales into the bay using a steel net and then harpoon them which certainly doesn’t seem very fair. The station closed in the 1930’s and not much is left there today, the old boiler, the vats for boiling the blubber and a bit of the old slipway. We left our dinghy on the broken off slip, the only rock free place, and spent sometime talking to Pam and Craig from Berserka, who had sailed out from the UK via the Red Sea and Indonesia an unusual route. We then walked up to the lookout for brilliant views of the bay and coast north and south. Returning to the slip we found that in the time we had been away the tide had risen enough to surround the slip and almost float our dinghy so it was a matter of wading out, about knee deep to get back to it.
Land locked bay of Whangamumu
Thursday carrying on we sailed a short hop to Whangaruru another bay that gives good shelter. There are a number of anchorages that we considered using on our way north in April but didn’t so we are visiting them now. Most of these bays have nature reserves by them with good walks and here we did a loop up around the headland. Typically you only get a few views and then there are steps. All in all a pleasant but energetic walk considering its classified as easy.
We have been remembering the pleasures of coastal sailing, with short day sails sometimes ending with tacking up a harbour against the wind to drop the anchor in a sheltered bay, a trip ashore for a walk and maybe a swim before supper. Now we have moved a short 5 miles to Mimiwhangata, and can’t believe that on a sunny Saturday at the start of summer we have the place completely to ourselves.