Today is February 19th and I’m back on board SY Tohora, currently anchored in Whangamumu or Brave Warrior Bay.
I had to hop off previously, in Panmure Marina, with my feet dragging, to head home for a bit, rescuing my car from Tauranga en route and earn some money, lol!
I met up with Francois in Auckland, who’d just arrived from France. He got his car from his friends and gave me a ride down. It was great to catch up with him.
Back in Ohope I was happy to see my boys and did a couple of weeks work before heading south. I jumped on a bus to Palmerston North where I was meeting Francois to join him for some of his fishing travels. Old Palmy is just as creepy as I ever thought it was! Weird vibe, the Manawatu. I always feel like scampering through with my tail tucked firmly between my legs!
It was an interesting few days with Francois. I’d really looked forward to it, as he’s a marine biologist and consummate fisherman. But it didn’t really end up the chilled adventure I’d expected and I felt Francois operated by the “my way or no way” system. I didn’t feel welcome and ended up hitch hiking down to Christchurch after only a few days. The less said about all that, the better, probably!
I had a few days with Mum and Dad, really focusing on getting my stuff packed up at Glencoe Street. I’ve got an offer on my house, not unconditional yet but hopefully soon. So I stayed off the radar and just got the work done! It was good to see the folks too and make sure they’re OK. Flying visit south over, I flew straight back to Auckland and rejoined Tohora on the 14th in Whangarei.
Brett had another friend of his, Raewyn, on board. She’s from Tauranga and owns a fishing charter business. We got on famously and I’m so stoked to have a female friend in the BoP now! She’s also a nurse, farm girl and horse rider, so we have loads in common. She and I did a walk up to Parehaka Pa, while we were in Whangarei. It’s a beautiful walk and a decent work out! Earned our wine that day! I really liked Whangarei. Its a nice city and one I’d return to.
Raewyn had joined Tohora at Marsden Cove so we delivered her to her car when we refuelled there on Sunday, having had a night anchored nearby and a dinner out in a local seaside pub. Both of us were really sorry to see her go!
As far as wildlife goes we’ve had some interesting viewing! All three of us were lucky enough to see a Mako shark leap right out of the water close ahead on our starboard bow. It was amazing. Later that day, as Brett and I sailed on towards Whangaruru, I spotted a sharp fin in the water on our port side. It turned out to be a Sunfish basking. I’ve never seen one before and googled it. What incredible creatures. I recommend you check it out! We also saw a dead Mustard Moray, probably a sorry bycatch of the commercial fishing boat we’d passed not long before seeing it. Other than those unusual sightings, we’ve seen quite a few little blue penguins and lots of sea birds.
That night we anchored in Admiral’s Bay, in Whangaruru Harbour. It’s another lovely natural harbour, shallow and sheltered. The highlight of the day was probably catching a kahawai on our line trawling behind us! It was a good size and Brett smoked it for our dinner, as soon as we’d dropped the pick. Gotta say, it was a fine end to a fairly long day! So moist and tasty. It would’ve been too easy to eat the whole thing, but we saved some for yesterday’s lunch!
Yesterday was an easy stretch to Whangamumu, a very beautiful bay shaped like a horse shoe and sheltered from all directions except North Easterly. It was another stunning day and we stripped off and dived in as soon as the anchor was caught! The water is so warm. There’s been bioluminescence off and on round here. So gorgeous at night.
There’s an old whaling station in this bay and we took the tender over to check it out, and do our laundry in the creek. It’s a pretty gully so we climbed the steep hill next to the creek. Good bit of exercise and a lovely view as our reward.
Once back on the ship, Brett made chilli nachos for dinner. Delicious. We whiled away the evening yarning and killing wasps at regular intervals. There’s lots here, horrible things.
This morning has dawned grey with a light drizzle, but calm. I think we’re heading up and into the Bay of Islands proper today. We want to be in a sheltered place by Friday, when tropical storm Oma is predicted to hit us.
The rain has set in good and proper! I made smoked kahawai omelette for breakfast. Damned good it was too, with a bit of caramelised onion! We’re going to head round Cape Brett soon, into the BoI and anchor tonight in a bay on the North West tip of Moturua Island. Tomorrow we’ll tuck into Pomare Bay, opposite Paihia. That should give us good shelter from this storm that’s predicted.
We anchored last night (it’s Thursday 21st today-this post is a work in progress!) in Waiwhapuku Bay at Moturua (AkA Mosquito Bay) Island. Totally gorgeous spot with clear water. We snorkeled and Brett opened some Kina to attract the Snapper. It was so cool. They were feeding right underneath us. He harvested a couple of the kina and I tried it, but nah, not really my thing. Not terrible but not good enough to eat unless I was starving!
We had a slow start to the day thanks to the mossies pissing us off royally overnight, requiring a sleep in. After lunch and a swim, we lifted the pick and meandered over to our current anchorage in Pomare Bay. Another stunning spot. We really are so lucky in this country. Here we plan to ride out the tropical storm that’s predicted. Looking at the weather maps I reckon it’s going to skid between NZ and Oz, with us getting the peripheral fronts, but better safe than sorry. I do not feel the need for another seafaring drama! On the plus side, there’s a cell tower above us on the hill top! So we have contact with the real (?) world!
Over and out, for now!