January 9 – 13, 2014
It was time to bid farewell to our friends in Parua Bay. My parents had less than a week left with us, so it was time to get moving. The plan was to day-hop our way to Auckland, exploring what we could along the way.
Since we were anchored in a very shallow area (to the point of sitting on the bottom at low tide!), we had to time our departure from Parua Bay on the high tide. Therefore, once the boat was floating with room to spare, we hoisted anchor and made our way to Urquharts Bay near the Whangarei Harbor opening. The following morning we began our southward trek. We only had a slight idea of how far we’d sail each day, and we didn’t really know where we’d end up for each night.
Our first stop after Urquharts Bay was about 32 miles south and around the point of Cape Rodney. We tucked up in Omaha Cove, home to many local fishing boats and the town of Leigh.
Next stop was Algies Bay near Kawau Island. Even though shore access was difficult in Algies Bay, we were on a sheep farm mission. We wanted to have the closest access to Sheep World in Warkworth, which was finally achieved by a special shuttle pick-up.
While we were making our way down North Island’s east coast by sailboat, our s/v Sueño buddies were driving down by car. Nathalie’s parents had also been visiting for the holidays, and they were working their way to Auckland for their return flight, as well. The Sueños made a small detour to meet us in Snells Beach where they came aboard for a day trip to Kawau Island. The plan was to tour the Mansion House and hopefully see some wallabies among the resident animals. Sadly, we learned that wallabies are pests in New Zealand, and also with a group our size running around, a sighting would not be likely.
Part of our group hiked from Two House Bay across the headland to South Cove to explore an old copper mine. We were going to return to the Mansion House by following part of the coastline, but a couple of aggressive Oystercatcher birds refused to let us pass. They literally dove from the air towards David and Max! Therefore, rather than risk being further attacked , or disturbing these nesting birds, we returned to Two House Bay by another trail.
At the end of our day on Kawau Island, we said good-bye to the Sueños. We weren’t sure when we would see them next, but our fingers were crossed it would be before we all departed New Zealand. Little did we know, we’d see them again in just a few days!