By Monday morning the wind had moderated to around fifteen knots NW, I was ready to move on.  As soon as the ebb tide started, the anchor was up and I was heading down the channel.  Just after ten we were clear of Houhora and sailing across Rangaunu Bay to round Moturoa Island and Cape Karikari. 

I had considered going close in around Cape Karikari, between an off lying island and the coast, due to the high swell I thought it may be too dangerous and opted for the outside route.  As we approached Cape Karikari from seaward I saw the inside passage had rough water and high swells breaking on the rocks.  Passing to seaward was a wise choice.   

I planned to have a look at Brodies Creek as a possible spot to anchor for the night.  I had read that it provided good shelter in N’ly winds.  Brodies Creek turned out to be out of the question, the E’ly swell was entering the bay, creating breakers on the beach and a nasty roll in the anchorage.  I swung around and in a dying afternoon wind motor-sailed across Doubtless Bay to Mangonui Harbour. 

Under heavy clouds and drizzle we anchored in Mangonui Harbour at sunset.  So overcast and gloomy it was almost dark.  The day had not been so bad, we had a nice sail from Houhora to Brodies creek and finished up in the safe harbour of Mangonui.  Still, a bit of sunshine would have been nice. 

The last time I was in Mangonui was the 25th January.  I sailed on that day down to Hicks Bay, close to East Cape.  So, I have now come full circle around the North Island.  Who would have guessed in January that the Covid virus would appear and reshape the world.  My cruising plans for this year have certainly been reshaped.    

My next stop on the way south is Whangaroa Harbour.  The forecast for tomorrow is variable winds, so I may linger a day longer in Mangonui and get ashore for some fresh groceries.  I fancy some red meat and a hearty stew to combat the damp weather.

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