Well, we didn’t take the weather window on the 22nd May, the weather was just not right for us. A few other boats sailed out but we decided to head north to Whangaroa Harbour and relax for a couple of days and do some fishing.
Friday 12th May, departed from Auckland and headed North towards the Bay of Islands. Steven, my son is with me and eager to undertake his first offshore passage. In the early afternoon we took the outgoing tide from Hobsonville Marina, motoring under the Auckland Harbour bridge and then sailing with headsails up to Kawau Island. We anchored in Mansion House Bay in the early evening and had a quiet and peaceful night at anchor, awaking to flat calm in the morning.
PLOTTING AN ESCAPE ROUTE
New Zealand weather has been disappointing so far this year. Too much North Easterly wind and rain and with the prospect of winter around the corner I feel the need to escape. I feel the need some warmth and sun. Time to head north.
RETREAT TO AUCKLAND
The end of January. From the logbook it appears that we have only had three days without rain this year – most unusual. Also, it appears that we have only had three days good sailing this year. Summer is a dud.
RETURN TO WHANGAROA
Our time at Waiiti Bay has come to a close. The weather forecast is for increasing easterly winds, although still only 20 knots. I suspect that we are in for a bit more in the coming days as this unusual summer weather continues. So, we are heading back into the safe embrace of Whangaroa Harbour.
FAIR WEATHER EXCURSION
This morning all was peaceful in Whangaroa Harbour, flat calm, quiet and clear skies. I sat in the cockpit with an early morning cup of tea and savoured the tranquillity as the sun rose above the hills. This the best time of the day.
WHANGAROA HARBOUR – DINING OUT
Eager to vacate the Bay of Islands and boats with blue underwater lights I was up early. The sky was still grey overcast and threatening but the wind looked steady. I had considered towing the dinghy but knew that sods law would come into play and lead to disaster, the dinghy and outboard were securely stowed on deck for the passage to Whangaroa.
RAIN AGAIN – BAY OF ISLANDS
After a quiet night at Whangamumu Harbour and a leisurely breakfast we weighed anchor and headed out into a decent swell and confused sea. Once clear of the harbour things sorted themselves out and we sailed on a brisk S’Wly breeze up to and around Cape Brett. From there it was plain sailing all the way down into the Bay of Islands, the sun came out, it started to feel like summer had arrived.
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.
SAILING AGAIN – NO RUM!
Sailing season opened on the 1st January. Unfortunately the weather forecast was atrocious for the week, so we delayed departure. This decision turned out to be correct, nasty easterly winds and plenty of rain made the first week of the New Year a wash out.