Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Great to be in Great Barrier

New pictures are up on the photo page so check them out. We had some "free" internet and took advantage.

We have left the Auckland area and continue our visits to various islands in the Hauraki Gulf off New Zealand's North Island. We are back in a very favorite spot – Great Barrier Island after a stop at Kawau Island's Mansion House Bay. We have been sailing a lot to and between the islands which has been great. It is good to get all the systems checked out before we do the long passage back to the islands. Yesterday we had a six hour sail to Great Barrier – a bit hard on the wind, but very pleasant. It was a bright sunny day but the southerly quadrant winds do bring a chill to the air.

Reconnecting with our friends, Sandy and Rankin on "Gypsea Heart" was fun. We delivered their mail and had a great sausage sizzle when we met up with them in Mansion House Bay. It is always fun to catch up. They had spent three weeks here in Barrier so they had lots of good new anchorage suggestions. We are settled in our favorite spot for the time being – Smokehouse Bay. Last night was so calm you hardly knew you were afloat. The sound of birds is wonderful. It is nice to be out again and enjoying these islands. But you definitely feel fall in the air. It is downright cold at night – well, at least to us – the kiwis are still jumping in the water. Brrrr.

Today we plan a long hike on the island...and perhaps building a fire in the smokehouse for hot showers! This place is unique. Glad to be here to watch the blue penguins, shags, parrots and other interesting birds.
At 3/11/2016 8:24 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 36°25.51'S 174°50.35'E

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