A sailing blog about a skipper and his yacht

Christmas at Whangaroa

When the weather eased I left the Bay of Islands and headed north. Last year whilst touring in the van I had walked from Totara to Lane Cove and seen a boat anchored there and had wanted to visit the spot by boat ever since. My way north up the coast  took me past the Cavalli Islands and I decided to take the Cavalli Passage, inshore of the islands. The Cavallis are the last resting place of the Greenpeace ship. After her sabotage & sinking by French agents she was salvaged and brought up here to be sunk as a memorial and a dive site. Heading past Flat island , then between Stephenson’s island and Frenchman’s rock and  past Arrow rocks I could head into Whangaroa Harbour where I anchored in Waitepipi Bay. A spectacular spot this, surrounded by steep bush covered slopes with rock towers sticking above them including one called the Duke’s Nose.

Dukes Nose from Waitepipi bay

Next morning it being Christmas day I rowed into Lane cove landing at the little beach here and took my customary xmas day walk  up the Duke’s Nose. The top section was a bit of a scramble but an iron railing was there to provide assistance.


Railing up Duke’s Nose

The views were superb. Regaining the boat I cooked my xmas dinner followed by the pudding. I did some more walks whilst here and never saw another soul in the bush.

View from Duke’s Nose

View from Duke’s Nose

Whangaroa harbour

After a few days I decided it was time to head back to Whangarei but before leaving Whangaroa I explored the harbour a little and then anchored in Owhatanga Bay for the night. 

I coast hopped southwards, around the outside of the Cavallis this time.

Cavalli Islands

 Back in the Bay of Islands I anchored at Waewaetorea Bay, Waewaetorea Island  for a quiet New years eve. New years day saw me rounding Cape Brett and down to Puriri bay, Whangaruru harbour. The last hour into here was a bit hectic with 25 knots of wind and me having full sail up, the forecast had suggested 15 knots max. As I have often found, so much for forecasts.

Percy Island Cape Brett

On then to Urquharts bay at the mouth of the Haita river, a gentle wind most of the day then suddenly a 180 deg shift and 25 knots kicking up quite a sea. With the wind on the nose it took a long time to round Bream Head and it wasn’t long before dark that I could drop the hook.

Next morning I took the flood tide up the river, it was still blowing hard but there was a bit of a respite up near Whangarei. Under the lifting bridge and thankfully there was a free berth at Riverside Drive. With a strong wind up my tail it was tricky to get in but the skipper of a neighbouring boat took my lines and I was soon all snug and secure . Good to be back in Whangarei.