We broke the ties...to the pile moorings anyway. The Whangarei Town Basin Marina is a great place to spend a few months while doing boat projects. The staff there is incredibly friendly and helpful. The showers and laundry facilities are convenient and tidy. It is in walking distance to groceries, stores of all kinds and lots and lots of boat stuff. It borders on the lovely Hatea Loop – a walking path that takes you about three miles, over three bridges and by some beautiful parks and sculptures. Plus we had probably the best spot on the pile moorings. We could just push off from our boat in the dinghy and make it to the dock (that became the daily challenge – to get there without picking up the paddle)...and if we ran a double hose, we could fill our water tank from the nearby faucet so we didn't have to carry jugs for water.
We made our way down river, under the fish hook bridge and are now at anchor in Urquharts Bay. Over the next few days we'll make our way to Kawau Island on our way to Auckland to meet our incoming guest Sue. There is a storm offshore – the remnants of cyclone Victor – and the seas are supposedly quite high still. So we'll wait and watch. The next leg is around 50 miles so if we leave early in the morning, we should make it before dark.
The engine, Carl, ran well – the longest run since all the work. With the new thermostat it is running a bit warmer – but that is supposedly all right. We'll do a last minute check with Tim, our expert mechanic, to make sure the oil pressure numbers and temperature are what they should be.
It is nice to be at anchor again even tough it is a grey, breezy day thanks to that storm passing New Zealand. But the clouds at least cooled it off as it was getting pretty hot on those sunny days. The bridge has issues opening on hot days.
This is a nice anchorage and if we get stuck here for any length of time, we'll untie the dinghy and head to shore for one of the nice hikes in this area. But for now, we'll just enjoy the cleaner water and nice breeze at anchor.
At 1/27/2016 7:16 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 35°55.49'S 174°34.52'E
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