About the Ship
Meet the Skipper
Alaska, Canada, NW
Fiji to New Zealand
New Zealand to Fiji
Fiji to Australia
Papua New Guinea
Coral Sea '07
Photo Album - New Zealand
Once we had the engine problem sorted out and sailed out of Opua, SEAWANHAKA had a good month of sailing exploring the Bay of Islands and Whangaroa Harbor. There is ALWAYS wind in the Bay of Islands; 21 days of sailing in the 2 months in the New Zealand northland, and good wind EVERY day. We did have some pretty rugged weather in December, but there always seems to be a good anchorage with good holding sheltered from the wind when it blows a gale. We spent 4 days sitting out up to 45 knots in Waipiro Cove of Parekura Bay, then sailed to the north shore for Christmas week. We anchored in Rangihoua Bay, Te Puna inlet and Whale Bay, and visited the Kerikeri Cruising Club. They call them "Cruising Clubs" rather than Yacht Clubs, because in Kiwi "yacht " is specific to sailboats, a power boat being called a "launch". We had a very nice ride in our inflatable up the Kerikeri River Channel, about 15 miles up to the wharf at the "Stone Store", the oldest commercial structure in NZ (according to the European settlers). A great run along the Kerikeri River "Track" and just a short hike into the town of Kerikeri. Had a nice Christmas feast of New Zealand lamb!
We caught a nice easterly and sailed 30 miles up the coast through the Cavalli Islands to Whangaroa Harbor. The entrance is a narrow opening in the cliffs, to the fiordlands of the North Island. Good hiking, exploring, protected anchorages, and New Year's eve at the "Gum Diggers Pub". There were at one time 7,000 "gum diggers" digging ancient kauri stumps out of the swamps and mud flats to extract gum for making varnish to keep classic sailboats looking ship-shape! Our friends Gerd and Wilhemina from Bay Marine Electric joined us for a New Year's Day sail back south to the Bay of Islands. May all of the sails of '05 be so sweet! sunshine and fair winds.
Susanna departed in search of warmer waters in Tonga and Samoa, on her way back to Sausalito. I spent a wonderful month anchored off of the quaint little village of Russell, painting, varnishing, running, cycling and swimming, getting the boat ready for a visit from my mother and sister Sharlan. And of course lots of great day sails around the Bay of Islands!
SEAWANHAKA left New Zealand May 22 for the passage back to Fiji. It was a wonderful summer of sailing in the northland: Bay of Islands, Cavalli Islands and Whangaroa Harbor. We made 3 attempts to round Cape Brett and sail south to the Poor Knights Islands, coastal anchorages, and Great Barrier Island. Unfortunately each time the wind was strong from the SE, sending us back into to the refuge of the Bay of Islands. Disappointed not to see some of the southern sights, but no regrets about more wonderful sailing and anchorages in the Bay of Islands! Great summer in New Zealand, but as it turns to fall and the weather starts to cool off, SEAWANHAKA is anxious to be back in the tropics.
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