Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hikes, yes. Showers, no.

This island is great. We have settled into Smokehouse Bay and enjoyed two great hikes. Day one, we were in search of the viewpoint at the top. Now you would think that would be easy to find, right? Just keep going up. But after gaining a good amount of elevation the trail petered out. We tried a few different paths that looked like overgrown trails – but no joy. So we went a different direction and ended up crossing a creek several times and got to a lovely bay that we passed by boat on our way in. It was a nice walk and the woods are lovely...but no viewpoint from the top. Day two, we tried a different direction and trail, and after a few wrong turns, we ended up on the path to the top. It was quite an uphill trek, but worth the view of the Hauraki Gulf and the many islands was pretty spectacular. The day was a bit more cloudy and the sky hazy, but it was still a great view. We also saw the parrot, several fantails, emerald pigeons and heard a bunch of tuis. The paths here are not the great DOC trails because this is private land that the Webster family allows people to use. It was two great day of walks – and our legs felt it.

The reward was going to be the hot showers that you can take if you cut the wood for the stove that heats the water. But there is a problem with the plumbing. Michael and Phil and Mark off the boat "Icebreaker" went in search of the problem. They checked the tank, the grates that lead to the tank, the pipes and turned on and off valves. There was no apparent leak upstream – but Phil found a leak along the beachfront pipe that led to a small "bach" (that is a summer home in "kiwi.") Hope was high...but still not enough water to get to the showers. The water in the bay is quite chilly – but we will have to resort to the salt water bath with a fresh water rinse. Brrrrrr.

Projects continue as we enjoy this anchorage. We continue to get lots of small stuff done on the boat. Though we didn't do a major haul out this season we have gotten a lot done aboard. We'll recap the projects in a separate entry. In between walks and projects, this is a great place to watch the boats that haul out on the "grid." This is a set of pilings that boats come in and tie to at high water. When the tide goes out, the boat sits high and dry and they can clean the bottom and a few have even put on bottom paint. It has been busy with boats this week as the tides are perfect for the projects. We also enjoy watching the boats come and go in this very popular anchorage. Its a great place to meet lots of New Zealanders – who continue to ask..."What's going on with that election of yours? Trump? You gotta be kidding!" It's all they want to talk about with us

We'll be here a few more days to a week. Perhaps we'll even get up the energy in between projects to move to a few different anchorages...(or not!) The weather has been great – though some rain is expected this afternoon. Doesn't look it now.
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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