Bay of Islands

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 21 Jan 2020 07:27

Position:  35 14.07 S  174 10.08 E
At anchor off Motuaroha Island
Wind: N, F2 slight breeze
Sea: slight   Swell: nil
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 7 nm

We got away from the marina on Sunday and made our way to Kororareka Bay off the township of Russel. Here we were to rendezvous with Maid of New Zealand, owned by Jon and Barbara Tucker, parents to Ben Tucker (and a few other Tuckers), who we met some time ago in Tasmania. Ben being of Snowpetrel fame, voyaging in her to Mawson’s hut in Antarctica. Ben and Babs are a bit closer to Kate and my vintage, though the Maid, while of traditional timber gaff-rigged ketch design, a Hereschoff 45 to be precise, is not quite as old as Sylph. Jon and Barbara built the Maid some forty years ago and have lived and brought up a family of five on board since then. Needless to say they are a fascinating couple and we enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon in the Maid’s saloon swapping stories. In the evening we moved Sylph around the corner to Matauwhai Bay where we rowed ashore to the delightfully rustic Russel Boating Club for dinner.

Yesterday we explored the very pretty township and today we sailed to Motuarhoa Island (also known as Roberton Island) where we found Maid of New Zealand already at anchor. We will explore the small island a little more tomorrow then likely head off to another of the Bay’s beautiful anchorages.

Meanwhile we have been researching where we are going to give Sylph her 60th birthday refit. We have settled on Whangarei as being a good location with a number of affordable boatyards to choose from. But for now we will enjoy a little of the North Island’s pleasant summer weather.

All is well.

The Maid of New Zealand


An interesting vessel nearby – a jackass barque:


And another unusual vessel, a junk rigged schooner similar to Annie and Peter Hill’s Badger, sailing past: