We're delighted to report our safe arrival in Opua. As dawn broke we had the first view of the Bay of Islands and it's a really lovely place – ideal cruising grounds so we look forward to exploring the many anchorages here.
Last evening started well, with a lovely 3kg tuna landed (Stormvogel also caught one within about a minute of ours!) so that sorted out the 'what shall we have for supper?' dilemma. The wind continued to die during the night and then swung around onto our nose so we motored steadily into what for us were near-Antarctic temperatures; at 3.00am Graham even fired up the heating system and was delighted that it worked after 12 months' disuse.
This morning dawned sunny and bright so we really enjoyed the sail up river to Opua, especially as we were accompanied by dolphins for a while. The clearing-in process with Customs and Biosecurity was very painless and friendly and we didn't have to surrender many food items at all. We celebrated our arrival with Heidi and Peter and a couple of very nice bottles of wine, followed by tuna curry. We're about to move Maunie to her marina berth so will be able to step on to mainland NZ for the first time. We are so delighted to be here and can't wait to explore.
We'll add some photos in the next day or so but, in the meantime, are looking forward to some shore-based R&R. Meanwhile, back in the UK, Di's family are celebrating Freddie's christening; we'd have loved to have been there but will raise a glass or two to the young fella this evening.