View over Urquarts bay

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - February 2013

1st to 5th Feb - Whilst in Auckland we did a bit of sightseeing around the area. Drove to the west coast to Te Henga beach where we watched, fascinated, fishing of a type we'd never seen anywhere in all our travels - 'Kite fishing'. The fishermen use kites to take a line of 20 odd hooks over the surf, some as far as 1.5km. The whole process looked very tedious and we saw many lines come back in a muckle bravic! Jean had a go at helping feed the line out - standing knee deep in the waves whilst holding it up out of the water. Did a coastal walk to Muriwai Beach where there's a large, noisy colony of Gannets. Back in Auckland the French couple who are doing a 'circus-navigation' gave a hilarious performance in Auckland harbour.

5th - 10th Feb - left Auckland again heading north. Watched the Prada entry for the Americas Cup strut her stuff and struggle past us as we sailed in the Hauraki gulf. Our trip up to Whangarei included stops at Huawai Bay, Kauwau island and the small fishing harbour at Leigh before arriving in Urquarts Bay which reminded us of a Marquesan landscape. Did a couple of great hikes and Jean actually went in swimming! On the opposite side of the estuary lies the only refinery in New Zealand.

10th Feb - Early arrival on the high tide at Docklands and hauled out - the intention being to work a week and get things in motion then head off to do some land travel.....the best laid plans! It all started well with Matt finding a suitable engineering shop to make the rudder bearing he had designed. That went really well. Our problems began when we agreed to employ a 'professional' to do our bottom job. To cut a long story short, it was a dreadful job and the new antifouling started to peel off because an epoxy primer was applied over the old antifouling. To be continued........

Meanwhile we left to go on our land travels.

21st Feb - Set off down to Napier - a town which was destroyed in an earthquake and rebuilt in the 1920's in Art Deco style. On the way down we stayed at Lake Taupo and then stopped at various sights including the Te Apiti wind farm and the Hukka falls. We had booked tickets to the Barry Gibb concert at the Mission wine estate - supporting artist was Carole King - and had arranged to meet the Vagabonds there - a great day out.

25th - 28th Feb - Left Napier for Wellington stopping at Woodville and Papapaumu Beach on the way down. Spent 3 days doing the tourist thing in Wellington - Te Papa museum, Cuba street, The Parliament, hike up Mount Victoria, tram up to the botanical gardens etc etc.. We even played a round of golf at Upper Hutt before intending take the ferry to the south Island. However we heard that all was not well with the antifouling problem, so decided to head north again to shake a few cages..................

Position at 28 February: Windy city Wellington (of 170 days a year the wind exceeds 35 knots!)

March 2013....