We are nestled in Mansion Bay on Kawau Island. Instead of the 50 miles to Great Barrier, we opted for a shorter, and better, sail to Kawau Island. This will also shorten the trip to Whangarei on Monday in case the weather gets bad. We spent a lovely Valentine's Day with champagne and a nice dinner aboard. There were about 13 boats in this small anchorage, but this morning, many have departed and there are only five boats left. Now the sailboats outnumber the power boats!
Today we'll go ashore to the mansion. There is supposed to be nice hikes around it and the island. This is a Department of Conservation historic site. The mansion is an 1845 wooden manor that was owned by Governor George Gray who bought the island. The manor is now opened and houses a collection of Victoriana once owned by the old Gov. It also has the original "exotic" gardens that you can roam through. There are hikes to an old copper mine,beaches and a lookout. We'll see how ambitious we get. A ferry comes through daily – it is actually a mail boat that delivers the post to 75 different wharves in the area and you can ride it!
We may settle here for a few days or move on as the mood decides. This is fun because it is a popular anchorage and its fun to watch the comings and goings of the boats. Yesterday a bright fuscia pink boat (with matching dinghy) came into the bay. It was quite a racing machine powered only by an old seagull outboard motor to get to its anchor spot. It sailed off anchor this morning.
As New Zealanders would say, the weather is "fine." Which means quite lovely and sunny. We'll enjoy a few days to relax after all the work and more to come when we haul out.
Happy Valentine's Day to all on the other side of the date line. Enjoy your day – we enjoyed ours!
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