We returned to the Bay of Islands this weekend, this time as guests aboard C and D’s sloop! As an experienced sailor, D was carefully watching the weather—we had a cyclone sitting just to the east of New Zealand, but high pressure from the west held it off long enough for us to make an overnight sailing trip.
C and D’s beauty, the Runaway Bay. It’s made of kauri, nearly 20 years old, and it’s taken them all around the South Pacific. D. was telling me that some sailors swear by steel boats, some by wood, and some by concrete. I had no idea there were concrete ships, but if it’s boat-shaped, it will float.
Just outside Opua, we saw this beautiful tall ship.
We didn’t find much usable wind the first afternoon, so we motored as we made our way north-east toward Te Rawhiti Inlet to find a quiet cove for the night.
S. went swimming in the clear blue ocean before dinner. I went the next morning, first thing after waking up, along with C, D, B, and S. 23 degrees C (73 degrees F) is warm enough to get used to after a couple of gasps, and it feels marvelously invigorating to shower and towel off right on the deck in the morning light.
This was S’s favorite place to be, right in the bow.
K in the cozy cabin.
This is my best picture of the famous hole in the rock; at this point the sea was quite “rolly” as C. put it, and I counted myself fortunate not to lose my breakfast (C. wasn’t so lucky). I was hanging over the side of the boat for the better part of an hour, staying on deck for the sake of feeling fresh air on my face. This helps some, but if you’re susceptible to the power of suggestion, the heaving sea all around you only encourages that awful churning feeling inside. For some reason, my brain kept repeating the word “sloop” with every dip and slosh of the boat, and I’m still a little nervous about writing the word even now.
After lying down in the cabin for awhile, I felt better and in the meantime, D. had brought us to Oihi Bay and the Marsden Cross.
The cross marks the spot where Rev. Samuel Marsden gave his first sermon, Christmas Day 1814.
The next day we finally found some good wind and smooth seas. Here we’re under full sail, moving along at better than 6 knots per hour. A huge thanks to C and D for an unforgettable couple of days aboard!