Finally, summer has arrived, and we cast of those squeaky lines at the Viaduct and headed out toward the Hauraki Gulf for our 'first' family Christmas break!!! We've been living on board since February 2012, but actually last summer wasn't really what we defined as a "New Zealand Summer". It was more like a winter, blowing a gale every week, and sun that didn't really want to make appearances. On the dock we decided to clean the drum rudders - a lot of bystanders were intrigued at what we were doing with half of Craig disappearing down the hole in the stern.....
See any fish down there??
Our first day out was with a lovely reach down to Putiki Bay, Waiheke, where we anchored for the night. The car ferry made an appearance every now and again to the excitement of the kids. After towing lures all the way over, we tried fishing at anchor, but nothing.
YUM!! Slushies and water traps - a perfect combination!
So with two water traps (one for the engine and one spare), and ice creams we were all set once again. We ventured through the narrow channel to the starboard side of the channel after watching the car ferry and launch go plowing through, then hoisted sail and enjoyed a 15knot breeze slightly cracked off, and enjoyed a speedy sail through the Motuihe Channel. We then eased sheets a bit, put out the prod and hoisted the geneka! What a great sail, scooting along doing 10knots in 15knots of breeze! Kids loved it too, and were excited by the 'pretty sail'.
Cruising along at 9-10 knots (even though it doesn't look like there is much breeze)
The Crew relaxing on deck
We decided to try fishing off the point in the morning, as that was where all the fishing boats were, but STILL no luck.. I even tried chicken. Nothing. After our uneventful fishing expedition we decided that we would sail to Coromandel and go somewhere different. Hoisting sails and towing lures we headed across, and yet again found another boat to gain on.
After trying to catch 'a' fish in the work-up by the Cow outside the entrance to the harbour, we decided that it was going to be more of struggle and lots of diesel to try and catch these mysterious fish, so decided that we should find an anchorage. Anchored in Woolshed Bay, in behind Whanganui Island for the night. A very picturesque bay, with lots of boats in, and a view of the sun setting out through the entrance.
A coromandel sunset...
Now that's what I call "Territory".
Mazuran enjoying her evening sunset, Cormandel Harbour
Good morning Coromandel!
Bacon and eggs anyone?
The water babies, Freya and Craig trying to feel 'tropical'.
Friends came over on their launch and had a get together. They then headed off to the Barrier, as the weather was supposed to blow a bit the next couple of days. The kids liked how they 'parked' their dinghy!
'Cool Change', Coromandel Harbour
Craig and kids went to the beach for the afternoon while I had a rest and came back with entree!
Kiwi kids are Pipi kids!! you better get in quick as they are disappearing fast!!
Kids playing at the beach, Woolshed Bay, Coromandel
Freya "two-toe" helming, leaving Coromandel Harbour
Blake setting up camp on 'his side' of the cockpit.
Even dolphins can blow bubbles underwater!!!
Craig trying to 'tickle' the dolphins belly - it was turning over and over as though it did want it's belly tickled!
Dolphin "home schooling".. this is how you play with Catamarans
The water was so clear, it was amazing how far down we could see them.
After heading into Islington Bay for the night we had a lovely sunset, and counted 104 boats all squeezed in the bay! It was spilling out the sides even after dark when others turned up. I didn't do a re-count.
My view from the galley. Not bad at all.
Heading back to the city we did catching something.....a plastic bag!!!! I just HAD to take a photo of it, and at least there is now one less plastic bag in the ocean.
The best catch of the trip!!
The new "helm hog"...
On our way back to the Viaduct Harbour, we spotted a work up of fish so headed over to investigate and see if we could at least get ONE fish for our holiday. Just where the work up was it happened to be the same flight path two ferrys that went zooming past straight through the middle of it. Unfortunately for a little blue penguin it was hit by one of these ferrys, and instead of trying to find fish, it wasn't swimming well and looked to be quite weak. We only spotted it as a side glance back to where the fish were, and were able to 360deg around and pick him up in the net. So with some TLC from the kids (also a nature study for them), we had him all snug in a towel in the arms of Nurse Freya.
Nurse Freya with 'Happy Feet'. The penguin was amazingly well behaved and didn't try
to struggle or bite, so obviously knew it was going to be rescued.
"Happy Feet" takes a bath.
Blake making sure the penguin is warming up after its bath - their body temperatures are 42degC!
Now it's back to dock, back to work and back to the pools for a shower!!!