An early start this morning in calm clear conditions.  We picked up the anchor, motored out of Whangamumu harbour and up the coast towards Cape Brett.  As we approached Cape Brett the birdlife increased, obviously some good food source for the birds around here.

Cape Brett Lighthouse. Photo Ray Penson
Cape Brett Lighthouse. Photo Ray Penson

We passed close to Motukokako Island (Percy Island) with its ‘Hole in the rock’.  I remember when we first visited New Zealand on holiday we took a tourist boat and went through the hole.  Quite a memorable experience, one that is being experienced by tourists today – although the boats are much faster now.

Hole in the rock. Photo Ray Penson
Hole in the rock. Photo Ray Penson

Once around Cape Brett we headed into the Bay of Islands.  Quite a busy place with boats of all sorts everywhere, everybody on the water enjoying the glorious weather and summer holidays.

I took advantage of the calm conditions to set up the new (second hand) Raymarine tiller pilot.  First I did a reset then calibrated the compass.  Then adjusted the settings to get a decent response and course keeping.  It did OK but I am not overly impressed, the real test will come when the conditions are more trying.  At the moment I think my old Autohelm is still better.

In the afternoon we headed over to Whale Bay on the Purerua Peninsular.  I haven’t been here before, it’s a beautiful Bay with deep clear water and a beach at one end.  It’s totally open to the south and I expect it will be uncomfortable in anything but calm weather.

After we dropped anchor I took the dinghy and drifted along the rocky shoreline with a fishing line out.  Soon I had some sizable Snapper hooked up.  I kept one pan sized fish for dinner.

Dinner size snapper. Photo Ray penson
Dinner size Snapper. Photo Ray penson

We ate Thai fish Curry tonight.  Excellent and the pressure cooker did perfect rice.  So good not to have a pot of mushy rice bubbling away.  It’s been an excellent day, I will sleep well again tonight. Tomorrow we may explore on shore and if the weather is good may stay in Whale Bay for another night.

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