Sunday, April 19, 2009

Great Barrier Island

April 20-2009--On Friday morning we left Auckland headed for an anchorage for that evening. A few hours out we had such nice winds that we decided to go ahead and sail to Great Barrier Island, especially since the weather was forecast to get worse over the next few days. Everything was going fine, and we were making pretty good time. Unfortunately, about half way to the island the winds shifted and were right on our nose, which meant that we had to tack up to the island, and we didn't have enough time for that. We had to decide whether to turn around and go back to find an anchorage for the night or motorsail. We chose to motorsail, which made it possible for us to head up closer on the wind. Actually, this gave the engine a good workout, and it ran smoothly the whole way.

We arrived at Great Barrier around 5 o'clock in the afternoon and came through Man-of-War Pass. This pass is only about 300 to 400 feet across, but it is plenty deep. The pass opens up into a large bay, and from this bay you can enter several lovely smaller bays and drop the anchor. We decided to anchor in a very small bay just off Kiwiriki Bay for the evening. It was so lovely, and the whole area reminds us very much of the Pacific Northwest except for the absence of large evergreen trees.

The next morning we headed back out the pass and dropped the anchor in one of the outside bays so that Steve could fish for Red Snapper. While he did that, I worked on downloading pictures to the computer. He caught seven very nice Snapper and one Trevally. We decided to eat Snapper for dinner, save the Trevally for the next night, and freeze the rest of the Snapper for later. When we returned, we anchored in Kiwiriki Bay, which is listed as the prettiest bay on the island. Unfortunately, several boats joined us later in the day and were quite noisy, but we still enjoyed a lovely evening.

We spent the next day at the anchorage because it rained off and on all day. The forecast was for 40-50 knots of wind in a couple of days so today we decided to move to Wairahi Bay, which is a bit more protected. When we got there, we discovered that six other boats had the same idea, so we returned to Kiwiriki Bay and simply anchored a bit farther in to get more protection. We are protected on three sides, and the anchor is well set so we will be fine.

The weather will keep us here for a few days--not that we are complaining, but we hope to return to Whangarei on Thursday or Friday. As usual, it will all depend on the weather.

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1 comment:

Captain Todd said...

We linked your blog for Great Barrier Island to Good Anchorage so fellow mariners have access to local knowledge & reviews.

Look forward to more of your anchorages & reviews on

Good Anchorage Team