Bay of Islands 2004

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Up ] New Zealand - preliminaries & trip down ] Auckland Arrival 2004 ] Auckland to Opua 2004 ] [ Bay of Islands 2004 ] Stone Store & Kerkeri Mission House ] Waitangi National Trust Estate ] New Zealand to Fiji Passage ] Auckland-Warkworth ] Auckland to Victoria 2004 ]

 

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We were moored at Opua, Bay of Islands for six days before we departed for Fiji.

 

Bay of Islands, New ZealandMay 1, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands

It was time to do some chores around the boat, get organized, and do some laundry. It looks like the winds will die down by tomorrow, but they still won't be favourable for our course to Fiji for a few more days.  Barbara will reprovision for our 7-10 day trip to Fiji. Craig is actively analyzing the weather maps and forecasts, so he can determine the best time for our departure.

May 2, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands

We're still waiting for good weather. There are more gale force winds today, so we have time for more preparation. Barbara went grocery shopping today, so we are now fully provisioned. Craig made some necessary repairs to Sequoia and Craig & Joe refurling the repaired Genoakept a close watch on the weather forecasts. He says tomorrow is a good possibility for our departure. I helped Barbara with food preparation and storage, and also helped Craig with repairs that required extra hands.

It's exciting to finally be in the position to leave harbour for the open ocean. Unlike the day sailing we have done from Auckland, offshore sailing means we will be underway 24 hours a day. Someone is always on watch, and someone is always sleeping.

I have sent several emails to friends and family back home to my email list. Sending these reports while we are offshore will be limited. In fact, sometimes we can't get an Internet connection at all. So assuming we leave tomorrow, it may be a week or more before folks will hear from me again.

Tonight Craig, Barbara and I went to the local yacht club for dinner. It is a casual affair with cheap drinks and not bad food. We met an old character called Gordy. He lives aboard his boat in the harbour, and brings his dinghy over to the yacht club to hoist a pint or two with his buddies. He writes poetry, smokes and drinks.

May 3, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands

Another day of waiting for favourable weather reports. I decide to make a list of the boats on the nearest three wharves:

bulletRestless - Honolulu
bulletApril 4th - Tokyo
bulletKleiner Bar II - Berlin
bulletSabrina V - Austria
bulletJovic - Gibraltar
bulletFinal Straw - San Diego
bulletSharazad - Coos Bay
bulletSwanya - San Diego
bulletOrion - Hiel, Germany
bulletArdmacheee - Vancouver
bulletSummer Rose - Portland
bulletStella - Toronto
bulletSprig - San Diego
bulletTikki - Helsinki
bulletMai Alegre - Philadelphia
bulletLi'l Gem - Victoria
bulletBy Chance - Victoria
bulletEros - Coos Bay
bulletRag'n Drag'n - Long Beach
bulletSpiff - Norway
bulletHannakin - Southampton

May 4, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands

The Stone StoreWe are not leaving for Fiji today, and it looks like it will be a couple more days before we get another opportunity to depart, so we rented a minivan and drove to some of the local sights.

We drove through Paihia into the Kerikeri region, and our first stop was the Stone Store, New Zealand's oldest stone building, built in 1836.  The same site also has the Kerikeri Mission House, New Zealand's oldest surviving wooden building (1882).  Both are located beside the Kerikeri River, a tidal river.

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We went to the nearby Marsden Estates Winery for lunch - JoeTourist recommended!


Marsden Estates Winery

The Platter for Two
recommended!

Joe & Barbara

Craig & Barbara

 


We stopped at a fruit stand in Kerikeri

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New Zealand's towns and cities all have public restrooms (as we refer to them in North America).  In New Zealand, they are referred to as toilets. In the little town of Kawakawa, their public toilets were designed in 1997 by a  famous Austrian designer Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  He has a thing against straight lines in architecture, and has created a tourist stop for the little town.

Kawakawa public toilets Kawakawa public toilets - photo: Barbara Johnston
Kawakawa public toilets - photo: Barbara Johnston Kawakawa public toilets

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This evening we had a Dinner Party aboard Sequoia - Guests included Jean & Clive from Hannakin (Southampton) and Clint from Restless (Honolulu). It was pretty cosy with 6 in the cabin, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. This was my first dinner party aboard a yacht.  It was a bit more informal than I had imagined.

Jean & Clive are circumnavigating the world. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos Islands, then to New Zealand. So far their journey has taken them two and a half years and they have travelled 50,000 miles. They will travel to Fiji about the same time we do, then carry on to Malaysia (for Christmas), then Sri Lanka, and across the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea, where they will stay a year. Their total voyage time before returning to England is estimated to  be 5-6 years.  This is an amazing journey full of physical challenges and hazards, and yet this retired couple is doing it!

Clint is making repairs to his boat, but eventually plans to sail solo to Hawaii.  He might reconsider and take on a crew member, but his journey won't start for a few months, so he has time to plan things further.

Crux region of the Milky Way, as observed from Warkworth, New Zealand Craig and Barbara joined me outside on the dock after the party ended for some sidewalk astronomy. I showed them Omega Centauri and Jupiter.  I have been impressed with the Southern Hemisphere's night sky.  There certainly are more bright nebulae and star clusters to observe than we see in the Northern Hemisphere.  I'm looking forward to when I return from Fiji and have some solid dry land to take some astrophotos of the rich selection of celestial objects to take home with me.

May 5, 2004 - Opua, Bay of Islands

It looks pretty certain we will be leaving Opua, bound for Fiji tomorrow morning. The winds have already swung round from the north, and a front is expected to come through tonight - both good indicators of favourable weather for sailing north to Fiji.

Waitangi EstateAfter doing some chores this morning, we made the most of our last day of shore time by going to the Waitangi National Trust Estate, the location where New Zealand became a British sovereign state in 1840 after full agreement was reached with over 500 Maori chiefs through the Treaty of Waitangi. The National Trust grounds have a commanding view of the Bay of Islands, Paihia and Opua. It was a sunny, warm day, and I enjoyed myself. NZ$10/person entrance fee - good value.

We drove through Paihia to get to the Waitangi Estate.  Paihia is a tourist strip - to be avoided except for offering the only good choice of restaurants and food stores available in the area.

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Next >>> New Zealand to Fiji - an open ocean passage

Side Trips to >>> Stone Store & Kerkeri Mission House, Waitangi National Trust Estate

<<< Previous: Auckland to Opua

 

 

 

 
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