After six weeks of working on the boat (three in the yard and three at a marina), Silhouette has carried her skipper and crew to a land far, far away (well, about 45 miles anyway) for a little break from boat projects. We are currently anchored in Kiwiriki Bay on Great Barrier Island or what the locals here call "The Barrier."
We arrived at the Barrier just before sunset on Saturday and anchored up at Nagel Cove. We had a bomb-proof night's sleep in the stillness of the cove, without the constant crickle-crackle of the dock organisms that had accompanied us during our stay at the marina. Just. Dead. Silence. After rocking in Silhouette's giant fiberglass cradle all day across what appeared to be a lake---but what we knew in our hearts to be the Pacific Ocean---we were both very drowsy: It was obviously our first day back on the water. The next morning, after a huge vacation scramble of eggs, lamb sausage, peppers, mushrooms, and cheese, we set off down the channel towards Port Fitzroy, investigating the various nooks and crannies (bays) along the way.
Kiwiriki Bay is the prettiest of all the bays we've seen so far, with forests that come right down to the shore and none of the mussel farms or habitations we've seen along the other bays. It is a mix of temperate and tropical, with gnarled trees growing out of rock faces interspersed with tree ferns and flax. Little blue penguins ply the waters making unearthly sounds (for their tiny size) like cows calving; while kakas (New Zealand parrots the size of small raptors) fly over the tree fern canopy cawing loudly.
Yesterday, we went fishing from the dinghy. Patrick first reeled in a mullet---a good thing---because we had left without any bait. After cubing it, we used it as bait and caught a total of three red snapper, a kingfish, and another mullet. Patrick caught most of the fish, while my catch for the day was a single snapper. Unfortunately, all of the fish were on the small side, so we threw them back.
Today, a quiet rain is falling as we hunker down on the boat and wait for the predicted 40 knot winds. A northeasterly generated by a low pressure system is coming our way from the Tasman Sea. While the wind speeds last night at Tutukaka (north of us) and Great Mercury (south of us) were in the 25-30 knot range, we experienced nothing like that nestled up here in Kiwiriki Bay; so I doubt the big winds will materialize here.
Posted from sea via Ham Radio.