A Fishy Tale!

This past week has been spent around both Houhora and Whangaroa harbours.  We decided to stay near the top of NZ in case a better weather window opened up.

It has! So tomorrow, Sunday, we set sail for the Marlborough Sounds, expecting to be near D’Urville Island around Wednesday or Thursday.

Days have been spent walking tracks and scrambling over volcanic plugs in Whangaroa, catching fish, swimming and generally enjoying the fantastic weather! Tommo says it is as good as the trip to the Pacific in 2013! He has lived in togs!

As to the ‘fishy tale’….we have managed to catch enough fish for dinner most evenings. As in any ‘fish story’…there are the ones that almost, but not quite, get landed. For the fish that have made it aboard … Tommo has taken on the task of perfecting his filleting technique.

We may not have any internet access during our passage but will try to get a location update to a friend who will update the blog.


Houhora Harbour

Anchored in beautiful Houhora Harbour, the most northern accessible harbour in NZ and infrequently accessed by yachts.

No fish were caught today. Dinner is off shore tonight at the Houhora Game Fishing club.

Earlier today Annie tried out the paddle board again in 1 metre swells and an off shore breeze.

Houhora Harbour

Being balance challenged, as demonstrated by her skiing falls and frequent falls off bikes, she immediately fell flat on her face in the drink! Capn John, of course, had perfect balance and executed a turn about Karikari bay perfectly.

Mangonui Mutiny!

Oldest pub in NZ where we celebrated Tommo and Sally’s wedding anniversary – at Mangonui

After Sally left the boat in Mangonui the crew became revolting. Maybe it was after a night at the pub, celebrating 37 years together for Tommo and Sally, or more likely, the thought of motoring nonstop for 4 days down the west coast that led to a change in plan.

New plan: instead of continuing on to the Marlborough Sounds we intend to explore the North Island from North Cape to East Cape.

Currently anchored in Rangaunu Bay around the point from Cape Karikari.


Wasps at Whangaroa

After a night anchored at Roberton Island ….when the wind howled and the torrential rain caused a few wet patches indoors….we woke to a calm, sunny day.

This morning Capn John met Jim Cottier on the beach, the person who taught him proper navigation – using sextant, sun and stars – in 1979! Just a few years ago. Jim has lived on Roberton Island for 42 years.

Our trip today took us to the Cavalli Islands for lunch, where Capn John respliced the anchor rope onto the anchor chain. The previous splice was unravelling and became jammed in the anchor winch today.

We had a lovely starboard tack from the Cavalli’s to our present anchorage in one of the many branches of the Whangaroa Harbour. Our reception committee? Some very friendly wasps! They are quite persistent and wish to join us for canapes much to Goodwife Sally and Cabin boy Annie’s consternation. Capn John assures the crew he is in control and predicts the wasps will disappear when darkness falls!

Mozzies at the Moks!

Our sail from Great Barrier Island to the Moko Hinau islands was calm. A walk up the hill to the old lighthouse on Burgess revealed varieties of many birds A young man doing seabird research was discovered at the top of the island. Apparently 100s of thousands of seabirds visit the island at dusk at this time of year and are nesting.

Fishing was good! Travelly and snapper were added to ship’s stores. Anne went kayaking around the various islands exploring the caves and rock faces and was followed by a ‘very large fish’ according to Tommo.

Paradise turned to hell overnight! Mozzies! By the dozens! All cabins were invaded and sounds of muttered oaths and banging, as man and mozzie came to blows, were heard throughout the night. The morning revealed mozzie corpses and bitten human body parts!

Yesterday we sailed from the Moks to Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands, a bit of a bumpy trip taking about 11 hours. We stopped at the Poor Knights…a noted diving and snorkelling spot…for lunch and quick dip to see the myriad species of fish inhabiting the sea.

A calm, mozzie free night was spent last night.

Moko Hinau Islands

Little Mahuki Island, Great Barrier

7 hours sailing from Waiheke to current location. Saw dolphins and fairy prions…birds dancing on the top of the water….en route! Met up with friends for dinner of scallops in white wine. Experimented with new paddle board. Goodwife Sally was concerned the wind was taking her back to Waiheke before being shepherded back to Alibi by the crew of a nearby yacht.