Left tenish and had a very pleasant sail with light winds from the east. Felt smug we had got up from Whangarei on the S.W. wind yesterday. Arrived Mimiwhangata about four ish. Had a much needed walk along the beach, really beautiful but a chilly wind, all fell out of the inflatable getting on to the shore, it's only just holding it's own due to persistent leaks. Great recriminations as to who should have got out first and hold the bow before the wave came over us.
Left a roast in the oven and returned to a delicious smell of roast beef. Found larger roasting pan this morning in the fruit locker. Bridge after dinner with usual foul play, hilarious laughter and very obvious cheating. Andrew and I won, gave Karelia a bridge lesson this morning, too nervous to play family bridge yet.
Calm night at Mimiwhangata, left for the store at Oakura Bay at 8.3O.a.m.need milk toothbrush and marmite. Motored across, very still and silvery sheen on the water.
All slathered in u.v. blocks etc. Last year Karelia got horribly burnt through all the sunscreen, this year she is wearing long white pants, those South Island skins.
Left Oakura Bay after another one of our shore reckkies. No petrol tins available, all the stores we have been to are clean and helpful, fewer people than usual. A very calm landing and a very wet take off, we arrived back on Thetis like three rather angry wet canaries, soundly berating those left on board who looked dry and smug.
Rounded Cape Brett after a very pleasant sail on eased sheets. Cape Brett rather muddy as usual with lots of tacking and a heavy tide running. Forgot toothbrush and posting mail at Oakura. They had fresh bread, cartons of milk and we got our air bottles filled for five dollars. Anchored in a bay off Urapukapuka Island. People camping on shore, nine yachts and one launch in bay. Andrew patching up the inflatable and Sally's flipper. Used the mustard pot for glue which I had decanted the marmelade into. The marmelade now in garlic jar. Garlic homeless. Get postcards.
Waiting for Andrew to have another dive, we are off to Whangaroa Harbour and the northern end of the Cavalli passage. Had a slightly rocky night at Whale Bay. Line down but no fish.
Sailed around to Mahinpoua Bay in a S.W. wind. Had two lunches by the time we got there and went ashore for a gorgeous swim and explore. The bay we are in is a Reserve, no fires, no camping, and as we were the only people there it was very pleasant, water a bit colder.
Charles has developed an allergy to his sunscreen, the itching is intolerable. We have sprayed him and given him allergy pills. Don't want a repetition of Peter's crab allergy.
Written Xmas 'thank yous' on post cards of the Bay of Islands. Brilliant move, no paper or envelopes needed. This biro is much better it doesn't go through to the other side of the paper, I must hide it. Had a good clothes wash to day and everyone washed their hair for New Year's Eve, salt water shampoo surprisingly good.
New Year's Eve. Celebrated with roast turkey in oven bag, ratatouille, and tomatoes going off, and tinned spongy puds. Charles not at all well with sunscreen reaction. Peter talked to Bill Coates on the radio who said to keep on with the allergy pills and keep out of the sun at all costs. Nothing to be worn round his neck. Karelia and I found his advice most helpful, He woke up this morning feeling much better.
Made another batch of scones while they ran themselves into complications of wharf and on-shore wind. Charles and Karelia got some stores, glad we got water yesterday, very long process with enormous catamaran filling up on three quarters of an inch hose for hours.
Even cane chairs on deck of catamaran. We think it must be a charter as we heard the captain's wife grizzling in the store, she spent one hundred and forty dollars yesterday and one hundred and twenty today. Hope they had better luck with milk than us, cartons make a big difference.
Andrew dived by a large island and we had gorgeous scallops for dinner, ratatouille made with cabbage and the last of the tomatoes. Enjoying Alison Holst's cookbook, all sorts of good ideas.
Off to see the Mills etc., quiet without Charlie on the radio. Anchored alongside Ranger on New Year's Eve/. still the old wooden blocks and kept as nearly as possible to original, older crew dying off and getting replaced.
Fishing boat alongside us at Totara North, wish I'd interviewed him. Long line and millions of hooks on it. Don't see why it doesn't all get hopelessly tangled, Peter says it's because he's not like me. The schnapper get sent to Japan.
Left Whangaroa Harbour this morning. Farago, Fireball etc. moving on too. Sailed in good winds, thirty knots round Cape Kari Kari to the bay. Went ashore and got tuatua. had lovely scampers on the beach, collected firewood for future b.b.q.s, God willing, and now off to Houhora, hoping to get a good anchorage to night.
Well, well, well like Wells Fargo we got through. The winds became stronger so we put into Kari Kari for lunch. Beautiful beach and quarter of a bucket of tuatua. Left there and found very strong winds, S.W. gusting to 3O knots.
Karelia lent me her meditation tapes, when it said to lie down quietly and relax as you listen I laughed hollowly, the thought of the woodland streams did help a bit. We finally made beautiful Houhora Harbour, cattle grazing down to the water's edge, like a lovely English park.
Took the waterway to the left and landed on a sandbank, bit embarrassing but the boys rowed two anchors out, one of which proved to be no use, and Peter winched them onto the capstan. The C.Q.R. held. After two hours and help from another boat we came off. Just in time as high tide was nearly due and e didn't want to be stranded there all night. They told us a nasty story of one boat caught on that sandbank and as the tide got higher the boat tilted and filled with water.
Charles and Karelia's bridge coming along very well. Nice dinner, pork chop casserole, rice beans and carrots and finishing up with Xmas Cake.
Had a very pleasant day in Houhora Harbour, any port in a storm, rowed over to the camping ground and were lucky enough to arrive just as five Fullers coaches were pulling out. Saw over the Wagner Museum which was very interesting, from evacuations on Mt. Camel to slides of Japan in the early l900s. Loved these, you put the slides in a pair of wooden binocular frames and saw the two pictures come to-gather with a 3D effect. Japanese maidens walking through Iris gardens, or sitting a verandah framed with Wisteria, loved especially a "Maple Viewing' with three old men sitting on the floor of a wooden roofed corridor perched over a maple growing out the side of the cliff.
Andrew, Charles, Karelia and Sally went on a fruitless two and half-hour hike looking for takeaways. They came back ravenous, we had a very pleasant late afternoon tea with the boat to ourselves. had a look at Parengarenga, nearly caught on the bar again, not without some strong words, all left looking rather startled.
Karelia has given me atavan, I feel drowsy and totally relaxed.
Went right up to the wharf keeping green makers on the right. We wandered up channels that looked very like parts of Australia, with low rounded rocks on to the water's edge. Children swimming and bigger boats in the deeper channels. Lots of sandbanks with birds on them, I have never seen so much shellfish, cockles in the estuary and tuatua on the ocean beach.
Charles and Karelia went off by rubber dinghy and caught a taxi from Houhora. Had a pleasant day yesterday, saw over the old Subritsky homestead, built of rubble-fill and plastered with lime from crushed seashells. Lovely picket fence around it and old-fashioned garden. Had a game of golf, very tricky course with hidden swamps. The others got big tuatua off the ocean beach. Had a nice roast of lamb in an oven bag, potatoes likewise. Got washing dry and had a big tidy up for the Lloyds who are due to come on the ninth to Maunganui.
Sailed to Cape Kari Kari, good easy sail, and landed at Whataru Bay, golden sand, no houses and pinky golden water. We had a barbecue on the beach. Peter made an excellent stove with a few stones and the oven rack. Sausages, bread and butter and hot potatoes, potatoes not quite cooked, raw fish salad to start with. When we left the beach dolphins followed our rubber dinghy and played around us in the bay, one pushed a lump of seaweed around with it's nose. This morning woke up to a calm sunny morning so had a swim and washed my hair.
The engine started to belch out smoke so we have been busy with it ever since. Sailed down to Maunganui and Peter and Andrew with heroic effort got it out and now we are in bits. Floor boards up etc. and it's very very hot. Nice takeaways ashore, twelve dollars fifty for four people, really hot pineapple fritters.
Maunganui is a hot busy rural town at this time of the year. The grocery shop is an old house built on piles over the water. Someone caught a striped marlin to day, lots of schnapper coming off the fishing boats, the pub looked rather rough.
Still in lovely Whateru Bay on the Kari Kari peninsula. Brilliant sunny morning and the girls are playing on Matthew Llyods windsurfer. Ali and Andrew are doing the dishes with Jo on deck. Spent the last two nights here after the Lloyds me us at Maunganui. Bit dramatic as the fisherman at the wharf didn't get their lines in time and one got wound around the propeller, meanwhile we were loading beer and groceries under rather baleful glares. Found Maunganui very pleasant in spite of the last minute hassles and thank goodness the engine is working. Sally loves having Blinder on board and I'm giving Ali bridge lessons. Andrew is enjoying the Lloyds wind surfer and it's ideal conditions to learn in.
Taemaro Bay last night, stony beach and quiet night. Walked up the hill and took photos and collected stones that Jo was convinced came out of a Moa's gizzard. Made a nice little 'extra' for Belinda's birthday.
Waimatara bay and Belinda's l4th birthday. Out of toast bread and tinned fruit. Jo went diving and got five crayfish, boiled them in salt water, white wine, lemon juice and peppercorns. Had a birthday dinner for Belinda last night, sat in the cockpit eating crayfish and avocado pears. Roast chicken for dinner, boiled potatoes, beans and courgettes. Spongy puds. with a lighted match on each one, very effective. Hot at dinner but had a peaceful mild night.
At the Cavallis, the most beautiful bay and the water a deep clear green. Anchored in twenty feet of water. Sally and Belinda snorkled and played with the wind surfer. Matthew and Joe went around the corner in the rubber dingy and got a lovely big cray. Ali and I swam into shore and lay on the small hot stones, rather like a beanbag.
Crayfish salad for dinner got the cooking down to a fine art, fifteen minutes in boiling water.
We're anchored in Hamururu Island bay. Last night a land breeze got up from the S.E. and Peter had to have an anchor watch. The night seemed very long. Jo pulled the net in this morning got a couple of little trevalli, motu and a parrot fish, fish for lunch.
Off to the Bay of Islands to day, put Andrew off at Whangaroa, he's going to take the Lloyd's car back.
Bay of Islands, Urapukapuka Bay, very quiet and a good night. A few people sailing and camping on the shore by a loading race. Dying to get to Russell but unfortunately it's Sunday.
Sailed down to Matapouri Bay, arrived there at seven forty. Dave and Karen coming here for their honeymoon. A long sail. A following wind with a swell, rather wished I hadn't had wine and crayfish for lunch. Came down below and rested, Ali gave me her seasick wrist bands, don't think they worked.
Ali's coming on well with her bridge hands. Joe put out the net but didn't get anything. Sarah Lloyd's l6th birthday, she's in Tokyo.
Out to the Poor Knights at 7.3O a.m. arrived 9.3O a.m. What a beautiful place and what a beautiful day.
Went into the Nursery Cove after seeing the Rikoriko cave, we went in on the rubber dingy and the cave opens up into an enormous vaulted cavern. Beautiful colours after the eye has become accustomed to the gloom, pink at water level, greens and creams moving up to the ceiling. A few hanging ferns and very very quiet. The rest of the family went into the nursery pool and floated around snorkeling and feeding the fish with kina, sea eggs. It was wonderfully clear with beautiful green pools over the white sand. Another family is snorkeling.
Jo took me on the surfboard for a private viewing and snorkel. It was fascinating and so warm. Came back on the back of the board, eat your heart out Malibu.
Off to the Hen and Chickens, very gentle sail and very hot. Saw Mao Mao schooling but whenever we got close they dived. The sea was boiling with them. I gather they can't resist a tuatua on a small hook.
Spent the night in South Cove on Lady Alice Island. Unfortunately I read the chart which said a S.W. gets up at about l.a.m. and you can move to Boulder Bay. Not my idea of bliss. Of course it didn't get up, waste of a sleepless night.
Joe put the net out and got 3O fish.
Next morning gale warnings and the prospect of a swift ride back. We lost the windsurfer after the first ten minutes but Joe stripped, jumped in and rescued it.
The winds got stronger and we were goose-winged, wind from the north, luckily made sandwiches earlier on.
Wind gradually moved, gusting S.W. 3O knots. I didn't enjoy it one bit. Ali and I insisted they put their safety harnesses on. Saw the other yachts sail off to the shelter of Kauwau but no such luck for us. Put soothing music on and hoped for the best.
We did arrive, once again in record time. Had dinner with all the delicious leftovers. Cold crayfish, rockmelon and a nice casserole Ali made.
Packed up and at long last lovely dry land. The Lloyds went home and we went to the flat, Simon and Sarah there, miraculously tidy.
Set off yesterday afternoon, S.W. wind about l5 knots, no. 2 sail and the main up.
Next time I think I'll try and catch the boat at Islington bay, there always seem to be teething troubles. Got the boat filled with diesel and set sail only to find the battery was dicey. Went back and tied up alongside a jetty, not an easy task as we are all rather green at that job and apt to throw the line without attaching one end.
Ali, Clare, Belinda and Sally all very brave at jumping on and off Thetis with mooring ropes in hand.
A really good sail down to Kauwau, arrived about 9.lO p.m. with dinner on the way.
A good night's sleep and swim in the beautiful Green Bay for Belinda, Sally and Joe. A quick sketch of a boathouse cum living house, pine trees up behind with the sun on them, very pretty, Kauwau not very crowded.
We are in the Marotiri Islands, a good night, rather rocky to begin with , a S.W. wind.
Arrived here about 6.p.m. after a slow hot sail from Kauwau. We all had sleeps on and off and then stopped for at dive at the main island.
The water was the most beautiful teal colour, Belinda rowed our bright red inflatable Joe as he dived for our dinner. He caught 3 lovely crayfish, which we boiled up in salt water for dinner.
Clare made a scrumptious salad, and with hot boiled potatoes and carrots, a most delicious dinner.
The girls put down their lines after dinner and each caught a fat wriggly little Mau-Mau breakfast.
We saw a very large Kingfish swim past but he didn't like the lure we dangled over the side , after more genuine prey.
Hoping to hear the wonderful dawn chorus that we remembered from last year but when I woke up all I heard were rather grumpy baby sea birds wanting breakfast. A few other songs but the S.W. wind must've taken the best away.
Reading a most lovely book that Sally has finished about American Indians and a captured white child. Very interesting.
Ali and Belinda have shown an interest, feigned?, in bridge lessons , so when we have motored around to the calmer Northern side lessons will commence.
Great putting on of sunscreen. Saw Brett in 3 Guys the other day, he is really burnt after a day on the water. Didn't seem over enthusiastic about my raw tomato, de-seeded, remedy for his bad sunburn.
We have all, even the skipper, had lovely swims. Not too cold and a gorgeous silky salty feeling to the skin, it must be very helpful.
One of those days that makes sailing very attractive. Picked our way through 'foul ground' and landed up on the northern side of the Hen and Chickens. After a potter around some of the inlets we ended up in Boulder Bay. Eventually four other yachts and a fishing boat with arms out the side, it looked very like a grasshopper at rest, landed up in our bay.
Fabulous snorkeling and swimming in the crystal clear water. The girls floated over a stingray and Ali saw an enormous porcupine fish glaring out of the seaweed at her.
Belinda's sixteenth birthday, and Sally slept in the cockpit under the stars last night. The first birthday eve. it hasn't rained on them.
We are in Teroa bay, another beautiful,quiet, people free bay the other side of Whangamumu. The water is a soft yellow
Now forty-five Nautical miles from Boulder bay and we got here in record time. A strong S.W. wind twenty five knots we just had the mainsail and the yankee up. It was too fast for me to write this diary up so I had a lovely read about the American Indians. Sad to think the way they had adapted over the centuries to living off the land and to have their way of life altered so quickly. Great storing of dried meat and fruits, often mixed, for the winter. The gathering and treating of skins for clothes , tepees and bedding. We had a gorgeous swim when we got here d Ali and I lay on the hot sand while the girls found a fresh water stream and a hot water salt pool to wash their hair and bathe in. Clare went on a big mussel hunt and Joe gathered some too. Dinner! The stove is playing up with the kerosene burners not working properly.
Off to meet Andrew at Opua and swap over with Joe. Sarah will be at Opua for her birthday on Thursday, Ali's bought a plum pudding in case we don't see land.
Gave myself Vita Sackville-West's garden book for Chirstmas. I'm sure it was meant for someone else but luckily seemed to be over at the end of present wrapping. A bit like Digby Law's cookbook, a must.
She has three or four principles to garden by. The first was to get rid of anything that displeased with her, out with that wisteria that's lifting the paving, the second was to let plant seeds come up in their natural way, plants falling over paths etc. third, there must be a seasonal plan and a colour plan. Very interesting.
A long haul up to the Bay of Islands and then right into Opua. Very large boats come into the Opua wharf as there is a deep-water channel up to it.
Opua Wharf is spectacular with two levels, freshwater and diesel available. Once ashore a tiny wharf town, post office , general stores, beautiful restaurant and takeaways.
The car ferry leaves every ten minutes or so for the other side and then a nine kilometre drive to Russell, cutting off a long haul around the swampy end of the bay.
The restaurant is first class with a glass plate in the floor for fish viewing, not hard when the whole building is positioned over the sea. A dinghy and drawbridge hanging, a mock sail loft, menu written on the side of the dinghy. Tiny bar tucked in the corner. Store very clean and stocking all lines, love the bare floorboards and coolness, a six mile drive to Paihia.
Went over to Sam and Chris Ludbrooks for the day. They live in a lovely seventy year old house that was re-built after a fire. Sweeping views up the Pahariki valley. They run it as a tourist Home Stay. A dear old New Zealand couple were staying there, he was retired judge recovering from an operation. I think they loved the peace and Clare's beautiful meals, morning, noon and night.
Chris has local artists' pictures on the walls and she often has art exhibitions there which makes it even more interesting.
Trying to get to the dentist. I would break a filling, it will hold us up. He can fix it at eleven to-morrow morning.
A beautiful calm sunny day, used the card for the new card phone system, very good, you just stand there and push a card in and it automatically deducts. There was fourteen cents left from the last call, I should have used that but maybe you can't.
Russell has historic tours on the hour , have offered to send our whole family on one, Sally wants the money instead.
Now in a bay on Roberton Island, fabulous, limpid water, actually quite a bracing limpidity, and you can see right down to the bottom. We had the most wonderful swims with great hair washing with salt water shampoo.
Belinda and Sally have been free diving at thirteen feet, and collecting scallops of the ocean floor. We have got our Bill Hoehepa book out to measure them, at least four inches, and Noel Holmes on how to cook them, the simpler the better.
Clare busy chopping and grating etc., very luxurious sitting in the cockpit being waited on, like a luxury cruise.
Went out to Bird Rock at Cape Bret, managed to anchor in forty two meters, the water sucking back and forth over a shelf of rock attached to it. Not mad on seeing Sally pop over the side for her first real sea dive and Andrew did admit afterwards it perhaps wasn't the easiest place for a beginner. Anyway she managed very well and Andrew was impressed by the way she must've been taught.
About six yachts anchored here, And their people scampering over the island. A lovely patch of orange-red up in the bush will have to investigate.
Off to the dentist, yuck, N.W. winds to-morrow and a splatter of rain so we are making the most of the sunshine.
Off to Russell this morning, dentist I'm afraid. Luckily the weather has deteriorated and we can have a good explore in Paihia and Russell, and even a cup of coffee in a cafe.
Historic tour still on, Sally has given in with good grace, after quite a bit of pressure.
Roberton Island was beautiful, the crew had a good run shore with Andrew climbing up perilous cliffs.
Still enjoying my book 'Ride the Wind', so sad to think how the tribes were ruined by civilisation, they had adapted wonderfully to living off the land, small-pox and cholera wiped out whole families which were the backbone of the tribe.
A lovely dinner with an entree of the fattest scallops, quickly fried in butter, two each, then roast beef and vegetables in an oven bag gravy and coleslaw. Delicious. Andrew is really worried he'll never be able to have a proper scallop feed, they will just be handed out in delicate amounts.
My arms are lumpy from Le Tan, so will have to switch sunscreen. Done some more washing, how to get it dry.
We keep seeing flags with a gold lion on a blue background, can't believe we are being followed around by Royalty, will keep my eyes skinned in Russell.
A lovely day of catching ferries to and fro from Pahia to Russell. Found the dentist, caught the ferry over to Paihia, asked a nice elderly woman the way, she was so concerned she practically dropped everything to give me a lift. Luckily only a brisk five minute walk along the seashore and arrived, soaking, half an hour early. Caught up with some really nice recipes and gardening hints. The dentist was very quick, gentle and efficient. Going home to re-vamp ours. He even put ointment in my gum so I wouldn't feel the prick of the needle. He said he had been worried it was going to be a terrible job and he sees mostly horrific situations through the holidays, patched me up and sent me laughing on my way.
Had a potter around Paihia. Stocked with tourist goodies. Every one is extremely friendly, Clare and I arranged to meet at the bookshop but of course she forgot and waited at our first arranged meeting place for half an hour. The bookshop owner was looking at me rather strangely after going through his bookshelves five times.
Over to Russell again on a really funny little blue ferry, you have to make a bit of a leap on and off, and we got a bit wet sitting there. How ordinary it would be if there was a bridged between Paihia and Russell.
All met for lunch at the Verandah Cafe. Some of us had Mexican Style meals, I had chilli con carne with apple on the top, the others had nachos.
Went to the Craft Gallery, Clare bought a very interesting oil, Ali a print and I bought some hand blown blue wine glasses with yellow blobs of glass on the side. all had to be couriered home.
Ali and I had a cup of coffee and a slice of the most delicious apple cake. I would love to have the recipe, it's a much finer texture with I'm sure ground almonds in it and apples and dates in the middle. One dollar twenty cents a slice, we had half each. Unfortunately Clare walked past and saw us sitting up and enjoying the said coffee and cake. She swooped in laughing and had a bite of our delicious cake.
The fattest sweetest scallops, we had our fill lightly fried in butter. Sally has just surfaced with another haul of scallops. Another beautiful meal, luckily we brought plenty of homegrown lemons.
Bad forecast, very strong seas and winds up to thirty five knots, can't understand how we're not raring to go out in them.
Clare is doing the scallops everyone has their own theory about opening and cooking them.
Sarah Llyod's l8th birthday, still busy working at the store in Opua so her family are thinking of her but not seeing her today.
Slurping round Cape Brett in a S.W. two knot wind, one point five metre swells and overcast.
Stayed in Urapukapuka Bay all yesterday and last night, overcast and raining on and off with very strong seas outside. The Bay of Islands must be the loveliest place in the whole world to sail in. A sweeping statement but the water is so clear and deep to within a foot of all the lovely little beaches around the islands.
Birds flitting through the trees and walks with maps and signs on Urapukapuka .We met one poor family that had taken a little five and a half hour scamper following the map.
They were very hungry but had five schnapper they couldn't wait to get back to their camp to breadcrumb and fry.
Barry, Jocelyn and Russell were camping on the foreshore, trifle damp, but very hardy. They left their car in Rawhiti and sailed across in their open sailing dingy with equipment and stores. They came out for a cup of coffee after dinner. It was fun to have them sitting in our cockpit. Russell was enjoying the company of the other campers and getting in some snorkeling, Jocelyn had boiled up a fish head for dinner, very hardy. We enjoyed the walk over the island, surprisingly steep on the other side with wild dark cliffs above wild dark little coves.
Kumera storage pits on the warm slopes and tops of the island. Water laid on but no other facilities.
In Tauwhare Bay, around the corner from Whangaruru and the other corner from Mimiwhangata. Had a good quiet sail, overcast but not unpleasant. This is the prettiest little bay, three sandy beaches and a farm running down to the water's edge. Shags roosting in the trees and a purple yacht and one other beside us.
Good stores at Whangaruru but low on fruit. We all got rather wet coming back, a few murmurs about hot baths, which upset the skipper somewhat. luckily we have plenty of hot water. It's amazing how quickly the water heats just through having the engine on every now and then.
Clare has gone for a row to take a photo of Thetis in this lovely little bay. We are getting very spoilt with all the meals being prepared and served by her. Even scallop entrees. Peter being a wee bit strange about use of water again but Ali was allowed a bowl of warm water to rinse her hair in. Belinda's School Cert. marks were an amazing six A. ones.
I'm still a bit stiff after our stroll over Urapukapuka, no wonder it takes sailors awhile to adjust to land again, you obviously don't use your leg muscles.
Peter standing in our hatchway watching Rory Moore get ready to go. Here she comes, it's pouring and the have the windscreen wiper going. a most beautiful new yacht with all the latest equipment, glad to have the radar today I gather. It's really WET and misty. The girls are making a lovely stuffing of apricots, breadcrumbs and onions, the chicken is thawing.
fun B.B.Q. on the waterline last night. The chops, Te Kauwhata's best, were delicious. The fire was only glowing embers and the chops were brown on the outside and pink on the inside. We sat on plastic bags with newspapers inside. Belinda was full of girl-guide tricks like building the fire on a bed of shells.
We loved the bird life. Coal black oyster-catchers with bright red beaks, two pairs, and a couple of dotterels, very worried as we walked along the beach, flinging themselves in front of us and running off with simulated broken wings dragging in the sand, Great actors. Their nest must've been very close for them to put so much effort into it.
The nests would be impossible to find, we could only see the dotterels when they moved, they blended into the stones, seaweed and sand completely. Good walks over the farm and steep cliffs to see what was over the other side. What a wonderful reserve for the public. I think the boating public would use it the most, no camping, but a fresh water tap under the pohutakawas and a plaque to show that the Queen and Prince Philip and Charles and Anne picnicked under the trees several times, off the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Great fun after the B.B.Q. We saw the Mills in a red dingy come ashore with their patent smoker, meths and sawdust and an upturned tin sink, plus Kawhai to be smoked. Only took fifteen minutes The Mills are marvelous at living off the sea, even had brown sugar to sprinkle over the Kawhawai. It was delicious. I put some tiny cat's eyes on top of the upturned sink, surprisingly like snails, needed the garlic butter to round them off.
Clare's swum ashore for exercise, we are going to get her to do all sorts of jobs when she comes back, and it's too wet for us to go outside.
Just heard the radio, it's Sunday. Thought it was Thursday. No mention of The Games so presume they 're proceeding well.
Sun, sun, sun, also quite a stiff little southerly. Up goes the Main and No. two. Think another day in the rain would've been very trying. The tea towels were grotty. Had a good boil up this morning and they are out in the breeze, we have all changed into clean clothes, a great morale booster.
We had a very unsettled night with the boat swinging and sliding around. But have been in worse positions. It's funny how much worse it is at night, is it because you can't see out or because you are lying there talking to yourself.
Lots of card games. Andrew lost at vingt-et-un and had to do a big pile of dishes. Lovely roast chicken, won at golf by the skipper, and fresh veges. Topped off by a plum pudding served with a custard Belinda made, standing a glass jar in a pot of hot water, quite time consuming she said it took half an hour.
A nice game of bridge in the afternoon.
Andrew went for a long snorkel and Clare swum ashore and ran along it. She said it's so much easier when you are really cold.
One of the batteries has gone so we have no light and water has to be pumped, minor hardships.
Lazing around in Port Fitzroy on Great Barrier Island. A long sail, left at nine and dropped anchor at seven thirty p.m. S.W. winds about seventeen to twenty-one knots, quite a swell but a close reach, and as they say a swift passage.
I was tired from the rough night, so lay below reading, also don't like looking at the nasty waves etc.
Nagle's bay is gorgeous; a couple of small colonial type houses, very sheltered. About five other boats, one is a catamaran, a man, wife and three young children aboard. Ali and Sally rowed over in the evening and had a chat. They were off to Auckland, they must be very brave, no heads, no galley, they cook meals on the platform between the pontoons. Hope they have a safe passage back, the wind is quite strong.
Cleaning up preparing to disembark. Clean clothes are coming to light and the stove is looking very clean.
Still at Great Barrier in Kaiarara Bay, we all had a long walk up to the Kauri dams, over pebbly rivers and up gorgeous paths, through native bush with a lot of Nikau palms. The stronger members of crew ran on, Andrew even making it to the top Kauri dam, a good four and three quarter hour walk and run for him. Glad I'd decided to stay at the lower level, Ali kindly kept me company. Interesting to chat to different people on the track. Two long-legged boys came along at a great bat and their long-legged father brought up the rear. He was amazed his boys were lolloping along so well, 'they're usually sitting in front of the T.V.,' We agreed it was amazing.
Clare has been marvelous cooking all our meals, making little cups of tea, preparing cocktail goodies and pre-lunch snacks. Very lucky. Seem to remember her glued to the T.V. when she was a teenager so maybe it all comes right if you wait long enough.
Scallops for dinner, last night. Not the fat beauties we had in the Bay of Islands.
Clare is having a wonderful tidy, going through the bookshelves and donating read and re-read ones to the Fitzroy library.
Off to rescue a b oat stranded in low water, a very big yellow yacht.
Oven bags still as wonderful as ever. Looking forward to seeing my pear tree, I don't think they will be ready yet. Nothing nicer than home bottled pears.