14 January 2023
Saturday morning and the weather looked good, not much wind at our anchorage in Kairara Bay but hopefully more outside. Keen to get going I started the engine and weighed anchor. By sunrise we were heading out of Port Fitzroy and feeling the first heave of the easterly swell. A little later we felt the first breeze and soon had all sail set and the engine off. Peace and quiet we were sailing again. Great Barrier Island started to retreat astern.
The wind was not too strong, around ten to twelve knots just abaft the beam, any less would have been a struggle in the seaway but this was perfect. We sailed comfortable between five and six knots for hour after hour. I marvelled at the steady wind, a rare beast on the New Zealand coast.
We passed close to the south of the Mokohinau Islands. I have always passed these islands previously in the dark and it was good to see them in the flesh. The lighthouse has a range of nineteen miles and is a superb light at night.
Later we passed the Poor Knights Islands. These Islands are a popular fishing and diving spot and there were a few boats around, the tourist boats were returning to their base in Tutakaka.
As we approached Whangamumu Peninsular the wind became shifty with lulls and gusts. We managed to sail to entrance of Whangamumu Harbour before the wind died completely, we gyrated horribly in the confused seas and we had to resort to mechanical power to get through the entrance.
On entering Whangamumu I was surprised to see there were no other boats at anchor. I have never been in here alone, even in winter there are boats. It’s a popular and sheltered spot to stop on the coast and many stop here either before or after rounding Cape Brett. We anchored on the south side of the harbour in five meters of water, the residual swell gently rocking Truce.
The crossing from Great Barrier had been good, we had made good time averaging five point four knots under sail. So nice to have a good day’s sail. Now we are safely anchored the beer tastes good. Tomorrow we have a brisk easterly wind forecast, should be good for rounding Cape Brett and entering the Bay of islands.