Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

New Zealand Wildlife

We left Opua and the Bay of Islands at the end of last week to head south to Whangarei en-route to Auckland. We watched the forecast as it gave a strong NW wind (perfect direction) on Saturday, turning southerly (not good) on Sunday. So we headed first to the large natural harbour of Whangaruru on Friday then had a cracking fast sail on to the entrance of Whangarei on Saturday. 

As we rounded the southern tip of Bream Head and headed NW into Whangarei estuary, though, we were met with 30-35 knot squalls on the nose so had a very exciting beat into the harbour! A fleet of racing boats we bashing their way to windward having sailed up from Auckland so we joined in with the tail-enders and surprised them a bit.

While we were anchored in Whangaruru we had some amazing views of the Australasian Gannets diving for fish all around us. They glide over at about 200ft then just fold their wings and hit the water at a very great speed:

Back here in Whangarei we've fitted our very smart new bimini cockpit sun shade, just in time to shelter under it from three days of very solid rain! The wet weather has given us a chance to get one with a few things we'd been avoiding - Graham went to the dentist for an expensive repair to a couple of broken fillings and we've sorted out lots of minor admin jobs whilst we have good internet.

The weather looks better on Monday so we'll head towards the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland then.

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