Exploring the Hauraki Gulf

After our return from the Phillipines, we spent time re-provisioning the boat and doing final preparations, before exploring the islands and bays around Auckland.

We have been having a jolly nice time in the Hauraki gulf. We have done a full circumnavigation of Waiheke Island, dodging rain showers and blustery winds on the way around.

There was a quick return to ‘civilization’ (Auckland) for maintenance and technology issues. When we were moving from Man O’ War bay to Oneroa Bay we hoisted the main and had a bit of gear failure (our topping lift clutch exploded!) so we could not hoist the main at all! For the rest of the journey it did not matter too much as the wind moved perfectly to meet us head – a fairly common occurence in NZ!

There have been a couple of data / telecom things we have been needing to do as well, so we decided that we should head into Auckland city. This would allow us to get some replacement boat hardware and organise some wifi/cellphone stuff. The ferry was quite pricey and we were forecast 25 knots in the anchorage. So we thought it prudent to split up ‘team Double Trouble.’

Jo was dropped off in time to meet the 9 o’clock ferry. This left Rob to anchor watch and get on with some boat jobs. there was 300 litres of fresh water made, 2 loads of laundry done, changed the bed linen in the master hull and cleaned the master shower and head. Jo meanwhile was up and down Queen street, in Ponsonby and Westhaven, getting mobile phones, modems and boat spares organised.

Once Jo was back we were the only boat in the bay and it was 1.5 metre seas. Fortunately there was a protected section of beach. So getting jo (and all the precious electronics) into the tender was straight forward. Timing getting on DT from the tender was a challenge. It was the first time we have seen the props leaving the water in swell! But all went well. A quick journey (surf!) around the corner had us tucked into Owhanake bay for a few days.

We got a big provisioning trip done, fitted in a few nice tramps and delivered out broken Honda generator to shore. When the weather got too wet, it was a good opportunity to finally complete our Day skipper theory course. Having done the practical course back in May last year, we thought we had better get on with it. And we passed! Fully qualified RYA Day Skippers . Quite proud of us.
A most lovely evening was had with Debi and Pat on X Pat while in Putiki Bay. We plan to see them soon at Great Barrier Island.

As seems to have been the case for most of our trips, we plan for the wind being in the forecast direction, which then changes, so our trips seems to mean we have had the wind on the nose most of the time! This was the case when we set off for Whangaparaoa .

We bashed all the way up to the peninsula as there was a bit of debate on where cyclone Gita would make landfall. Being cautious, we opted to go into Gulf Harbour marina for a few days, this meant the in-laws could come and visit. Gita just brushed the upper North island as it turned out.

After filling up with fuel and mooring the boat 4 times (a combination of wrong power on one of the arms and then wanting to turn the boat so we were facing into the expected ‘big blow’) and we were finally settled in! Jo was super slick on the throttles and had us parked smoothly each time. It was actually really great to see how smoothly we have been anchoring and docking recently. Definitely a lot calmer than when we started out!

Being in the marina was also great opportunity to meet with a sailmaker about a quote for new upwind sail. Watch this space.

I managed to volunteer Dennis into helping out with a service on our winches. ( A job I have been meaning to do for over a year!) The results are pretty amazing. The previous owner had put so much grease on the cogs it was stopping them spinning. It took a few hours to get them clean. After a much lighter greasing they are much improved. In fact Jo catapulted herself into the helm seat when pulling the mainsheet on!

For the last couple of days we have been exploring Kawau island. The generator is still with the mechanic. We are planning to have this delivered back to us via the local ferry service. So will be hovering around Kawau until it is ready. Hopefully by Thursday…

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