Noon Position: 36 27.2 S 175 28.6 E
Last night we enjoyed a final hurrah with Shirley from Speedwell of Hong Kong (Kate and I agree that Shirley makes the best hot chocolate bar none) and this morning managed a reasonably early start, with the anchor aweigh at 0720. We hoisted the mainsail but, with light headwinds, motored clear of the very narrow Man of War Passage, the southern entrance into Port Fitzroy, until we had sufficient sea room and clean air in which to sail.
With the wind from the SW, we initially headed WNW then, at 0813, tacked to the SSE to clear the numerous small islands immediately west of Great Barrier Island. We enjoyed a pleasant gentle breeze for the forenoon; however, a little after midday we lost the wind, most likely due to a wind shadow from the mountains of the Moehau Range at the northern tip of Coromandel Peninsular. We motored for a bit to see if we could clear the shadow and now the wind has freshened again from the SW. Hopefully, we will hold the breeze for at least the rest of the afternoon.
The plan is to make for Mercury Bay, 25 miles ahead, where we will anchor for the night then go into Whitianga Marina tomorrow to resupply. There are some strong winds forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday so we will most likely remain in Whitianga until Thursday before continuing on our way.
All is well.