Return to Opua
Monday 20th April 2015
We woke early to a rainy and grey day, but by the time we lifted the anchor at 0730 the sun was beginning to peep through the clouds. We motored out of the harbour, raised the sails and began a pleasant sail along the coast. The sea state had improved dramatically overnight and the wind was blowing 10-12 knots from just forward of the beam, and so we made good speed in gentle conditions. What a change to yesterday, and very welcome indeed!
When we sailed down this coast in December ’13, it was mostly at night and we saw little of the beautiful coastline, but today we were able to take it all in at our leisure. The wind finally gave up on us as we reached Cape Brett and as we passed between the mainland and the ‘hole in the rock’ we wound in the headsail and switched on the engine. We decided to take the Albert Channel short cut into the Bay of Islands rather than go right round, and were so glad we did as we were rewarded with beautiful views as we passed between the islands.
We had arranged a swing mooring with the marina in Opua, and just as we were approaching the bay, the telephone rang and Rod asked if we were anywhere near. Excellent timing, as he then very kindly dinghied over to our buoy and passed the line to us, making both finding it in the first place and then picking it up so much easier.
By 1645 we were enjoying an ‘anchoring’ beer on the buoy that will be our home now until we bid farewell to New Zealand and head north to resume our passage through the south Pacific islands, beginning with Fiji. Scott-Free performed well on her first shakedown passages, and we are happy that she is ready for the next leg of the adventure.