Day sailing north from Auckland to Opua, Bay of Islands took us four days. Our anchorages are indicated on the map below - click on the boxes if you wish to jump directly to that section.
April 27, 2004 - Day 1 - Auckland to Whangaparoa
After leaving Auckland harbour,
we ran into a series of squalls through Hauraki Gulf making the passage rough and wet
in the 25 knot winds and heavy rain. We had to reef the mainsail, and
furl the Gib, so we decided mid-afternoon
to cut the day short. We headed for Whangaparoa, and docked at
Gulf Harbour Marina. We're only about 15 nautical miles (nmi) north of Auckland, but at least
we are on our way.
April 28, 2004 - Day 2 - Whangaparoa to Urquhart Bay, Whangarei
Today was the first day I stood a couple of watches, albeit with supervision from Craig and Barbara. We had to motor sail most of the way, however for the last hour there was enough wind to sail. What a relief to turn off that diesel engine! Total distance about 55 nmi.
Our course today took us past: Tiritiri Matangi Island, Leigh Harbour and Omaha Cove, both near Little Barrier Island (where Graeme, my cousin Cindy's husband works his fishing boat from), Mangawhai Heads - rocks at the headland & cliffs down to Langs Beach, Hen and Chicken Islands (I saw the chicken-like rock up on the ridge of the island nearest us).
The point opposite Marsden Point as we entered the outer part Whangarei
Harbour has an old gun emplacement up on the hill. There is a beautiful beach on
the seaward side of the point. We anchor in Urquhart Bay,
a pretty little anchorage not far from Whangarei.
April 29, 2004 - Day 3 - Urquhart Bay, Whangarei to Whangaruru Harbour
Today we wanted to get about halfway up to Opua and then put into a safe harbour. Whangaruru Harbour was our choice, since it will take us to within 31 miles of Opua. Total distance about 45 nmi.
Approaching Cape Brett - look for the hole in the rock
Cape Brett Lighthouse
Bay of Islands, Opua
Opua is the place for yachties. I hadn't
heard the term yachties before, but I
understand it is not derogatory. The marina where we are docked has several
hundred boats, although most are locally-owned.
Still, there is a significant contingent of foreigners docked here. It is
a welcome relief to have lots of hot running water again - showers and laundry.
Craig soon finds the chandlery, and Barbara and I find the Internet access.
Each of us have our priorities!
We stayed moored in Opua for several days, since there were strong northerly winds blowing outside the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands. Our passage to Fiji takes us on a northerly course, so we must wait for some moderate easterly winds before starting our passage over the open ocean.
Next >>> Opua & Bay of Islands Area
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