Smokehouse Bay

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 17 Nov 2020 05:37

Position:  36 17.02 S  175 19.81 E
At anchor Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island
Wind: W F3. Sea calm. Swell nil. Weather: Sunny

This morning we weighed anchor at 1100 and motored another short distance to Smokehouse Bay. Smokehouse Bay has something of a reputation as being a yachty’s paradise but when we first arrived it was rather crowded so we chose a more secluded location. However, today we thought that seeing as the weekend was past and a lot of the motor boaters had probably headed home, the crowd might have thinned out a bit. This proved to be the case with only some eight or so boats at anchor in the bay (though another three arrived at the same time as we did). We snuck in between all the other boats and dropped anchor close in to the beach off the careening piles in seven meters of water.

One of the attractions here for yachties is fresh water, basic laundry facilities, a hot water bath and shower (using a wood stove for a hot water system), and, as it turns out, a wood-fired pizza oven. So, since our arrival we have done a couple of tub loads of laundry and been for a swim off the boat. Unfortunately we ate our last two pizza bases a few nights ago so we are a little disappointed that we will not be able to make use of the pizza oven.  Meanwhile the crowd of boats has grown significantly – there are now some 28 boats squeezed into the bay – so it resembles suburbia more than paradise.

And as I write a little yellow junk rigged sail has motored past – Shirley of Speedwell of Hong Kong fame. Quite sensibly, she looks to be heading to a different bay, Wairahi Bay I think. Hopefully we will be able to catch up with her tomorrow.

Departing Waiakaara Bay:


Arriving Smoke House Bay:


A little crowded:


Morwenna of Cape Town on the careening piles; skipper Hurgen who we met in Docklands back in February before the lockdown (Sylph at anchor in background):


Doing the laundry (yes, I helped ... a little):


Pizza Oven:


All is well.