|GoBackTo 2003 Cruise Chapter Threee|
|17 April 2003|| Great Barrier Island to Tauranga||Family|
|25 April 2003|| ANZAC Day||Family|
|29 April 2003|| Tauranga||Family|
|GoForwardTo 2003 Cruise Chapter Five|
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We sat in Whangaparapara Harbour for a couple of days, buffeted by winds and rain, until the weather systems moved along and the winds shifted. From there we sailed down to Tryphena on Great Barrier Island, then a brief hop over to lovely Mercury Islands, across to Mercury Bay on the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula, and finally down the coast to Tauranga.
Portions of a chart showing Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula. Tauranga (not shown) is about 60 miles down the coast from Mercury Bay.
The left photo is the view from KatieKat in Whangaparapara Harbour when the sun attempted to poke its head out during the showers. The right photo simply shows our anchorage in Tryphena, about five miles down the coast from Whangaparapara on Great Barrier Island.
We had a great spinnaker run down to the Mercury Islands from Great Barrier Island. Mercury Island is privately-owned, but cruisers are permitted to anchor and graciously allowed to wander on the farmland. We had a wonderful hike with some fellow cruisers (dang, I forgot to take my camera!). Simply a beautiful place. Lots of boat traffic, as this was Easter weekend.
The first photo shows Great Barrier Island behind us. The second shot shows Mercury Islands to port and the Coromandel Peninsula to starboard. The third photo shows 1.2ft under the keel at low tide when anchored in the middle of the night, just as predicted (whew!). The log shows 10482nm whereas the (true) GPS mileage was 11712nm as I very often don't bother plugging in the knotmeter impeller.
After spending the night in Mercury Cove on Mercury Island we sailed down and checked out some other pretty places on the island before sailing across to Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula.
We sailed into Mercury Bay hoping to stay at Whitianga Harbour, but were informed that there was no room for multihulls there and so we anchored in Mara Mara Totara Bay where we watched the rescue operations of a couple of yachts which had beached there in the ugly weather of the previous week. Photo of Kathy with Shakespeare Cliff in the background.
Hoping to take advantage of the forecast favorable winds, we left Mercury Bay before dawn and headed the 60 miles down the coast to Tauranga. Sailing on a moonlit night is sure pleasant. The predicted "variable to 10 knots becoming northerly 15" instead was a solid 15 from the southwest which then turned to 20 from the southeast, all bucking the prevailing northerly swell, with squalls thrown in for good measure. We were heading south. Only took a few waves over the entire boat, but since we were expecting a run I hadn't closed off the Nicro solar vents... hate salt water down below! Bah humbug!
We arrived at Mount Maunganui at the entrance to Tauranga before dark and settled in for a few weeks at Tauranga Bridge Marina.
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ANZAC Day is a very solemn occasion in both Australia and New Zealand. Originally a day of remembrance for the tragic WWI Galipoli campaign, it has evolved as a day for honoring veterans of all wars. For us, it also marked the third anniversary of our cruise.
Tauranga Bridge Marina, as seen from the bridge and from Mount Maunganui.
Together with some neighboring yachties, we've been going for daily high-energy hikes up Mount Maunganui. This hour-long workout (the time to the top steadily dropping from the initial 40 minutes) is wonderful, and I'm happy to say I've already lost a couple of kilo... uh, 5lbs. The views are great, and it's refreshing to be able to look straight down over a cliff.
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