So I decided to head back north making use of the southerly winds to hop back up the coast.
SW 20 knots was forecast which was almost ideal although would have prefered a more gentle 15knots. But the first leg was about 40 miles so with 20 it should be speedy.
I weighed anchor and left at first light from Kawau bay, out through the north channel and was soon rounding Takatu point and could set corse northwards. The worst part of the journey was the last two miles when I seemed to hit nasty conditions of wind over tide at the entrance to Whangarei harbour but anchored OK in Urquharts bay.
Next day just a short hop up to Tutaka harbour, quite a narrow entrance between rocks to this but good leading marks to help you in and very sheltered inside. I had wanted the objective for the next anchorage to be Minywatter bay but the forecast was for wind to go around to NW in the evening so not ideal and I carried on to Whangamumu.
What a beautiful landlocked and sheltered harbour this was. No roads no houses just the ruins of and old whaling station. I had noticed that I had a problem with the engine charging so a spot of careful trouble shooting led to the discovery of a broken earth wire from the alternator fairly easily fixed but it lead to what if thoughts.
I rowed to the old whaling station and after a wander around this.
then another beach where I left the dinghy and walked up steeply to the ridge and part way down the other side towards the Bay of Islands, the promintory being quite narrow here. I was hoping for good view but got only tantalising glimpses through the thick tree cover.
I stayed a second night at anchor here sheltering from rain and occasional high winds.
From Whangamumu just a short hop around Cape Brett.
I had been unable to get a weather forecast on the VHF so discovered it was still blowing hard outside and was around 30 knots on the nose with quite a sea, far from pleasant conditions and I got quite splashed. I put into Oke bay for awhile but later in the afternoon when the weather had calmed somewhat and the wind gone around to the SW I went on again through the Albert channel to Waipora Bay for the night.
Later the next day I carried on the remaining miles to Bay of Islands Marina where I had booked a berth.
As well as a small modification necessary to the new mainsail I had decided to get an alternator as a spare. I fact I fitted a new one keeping the old as spare and also changed the charging set up, fitting a dual voltage VCR unit and switches.This will cope with the 2 different batteries I now have better. I had bought this ages ago, originally for Dansa but never got around to fitting it and it had sat almost forgotten in a locker on Sea Bear for the past 5 years.
Also time to get some laundry done, restock on provisions and do the paper work for leaving New Zealand and heading for Fiji.