For many months I have been painting, maintaining and refurbishing Truce.  Now, we are both ready to venture out again, this time for a New Zealand cruise. 

After so many months of stationary activity it’s wonderful to be moving again.  This cruise will be different as I have no set timetable or itinerary planned.  I would like to visit the north coast above the Bay of Islands, Firodland, Stewart Island and the west coast of the South Island.  How and when I get there will be dependent on the boat and weather.  If I like a place I will linger and if the weather is nasty I will stay put in shelter.  The dictum for the cruise will be ‘No Hurry in Life’.

We sailed from Hobsonville Marina early on New Years day, in calm conditions.  After anchoring in the stream for breakfast we took the tide down the harbour for a leisurely motor across to Mawhitipana Bay on Waikeke Island for the night.  A brisk S’Wly breeze took us up to North Cove on Kawau Island the next day, on the port tack the whole way.

The forecast overnight was for more S’Wly wind and we decided to head further north to Whangarei the next morning before the stronger winds set in.  Another brisk sail in building winds took us to Whangerai Harbour entrance where we had an interesting interlude with the headsail furler.  As the wind was gusting hard I reefed the Yankee on the new Harken Furler, only to find I had a riding turn on the furling line with the sail three quarters out.  Ten minutes spent on the bow sprit getting dunked sorted the problem out but by now we had dropped downwind of the entrance and had to motor into a chop and strong wind to round Busby head into the harbour.  We motored a few more miles up the harbour and anchored in ‘The Nook’ together with five other boats sheltering from the building wind.

The Nook anchorage Whangarei
The Nook anchorage Whangarei. Photo: Ray Penson

We have now been anchored either in the Nook or Parua Harbour for the last three nights as the wind continues to blow from the South West.  The Nook anchorage is a fine place to be in a blow with excellent holding for the anchor.  We are quite happy to sit here for a few days, we have internet connection and lots of little jobs to do in a leisurely manner.  I have adjusted the lead for the furler which should fix the riding turn problem.  I may change the furling line for a larger diameter rope, but will see how the new lead works first.

Yesterday, in the afternoon I felt a chill in the air and caught a faint whiff of smoke.  Soon after, the sun disappeared behind a layer of smoke blown across the Tasman from the Australian bush fires and the whole place turned a dark orange colour.  Quite apocalyptic , street lights came on due to the low light.  Amazing that the smoke has travelled over 2000 km and is still thick enough to block out the sun.  A sobering reality check – the conditions in some parts of Australia will be truly awful.

Orange tinge from Australian bush fires
Orange tinge from Australian bush fires. Photo: Ray Penson

Tomorrow we hope to sail north again as the winds are expected to moderate.  We could have sailed today but don’t see the point in being uncomfortable, another day won’t make any difference.  No hurry in life!

2 thoughts on “2020 NEW ZEALAND CRUISE

Add yours

  1. I’m glad to hear that you are off the dock after all of the hard work you’ve been putting in! The Nook looks lovely; quite sobering, as you say, to see the smoke so thick.
    Looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

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