and Michel HENNEBERT's log files for
Date of report
: 15th of november 2004
We were silent for a long time, as we were in Noirmoutier since over 10 month and until September 20th. We resume our Logs
We landed in Auckland early morning on Friday, September 24th, and drove our rented car to Whangarei to meet with our beloved CALLIBISTRIS. Poor of her, and of us, we then discovered she was still under her shield, painting of the deck still on its way. And the colour of it is dark grey ! We show a copy of our order to the painter, who had no knowledge of it, confirming that it should be pale grey as before. Topside is superb. Thanks to Murray, the yard owner, we decide with the painter a crash program and we go, looking for a motel.
Zealand transfered to north hemisphere
On Saturday the 30th, CALLIBISTRIS goes out and on Friday, Barry and his team can proceed with the installation of the mast, temporarily with only one forestay. This allows us to launch CALLIBISTRIS on Sunday morning and to find a nice berth in Whangarei Harbour, quite downtown. On Sunday, we move onboard, and on Monday Barry comes back to tune the rigging he changed as preventive maintenance. Terrible finding on Tuesday, deck painting, which was not nice nor anti sliding, is peeling off. Happy we are not to have yet paid the full invoice ! With Murray’s help, we meet with the painter, who never had any precise instruction from his boss we signed the contract with one year ago, and we ask Wayne, a nice, clever and knowing boats man to join us as an arbitrator. It is then decided that the upper layer has to be entirely sanded and a new paint will be done under the supplier control with “Don’t Slip” paint. Weather is fine, with three people sanding proceed fast and on Thursday 14th work is done, not perfect but in a reasonable way. We are in a hurry to sail but we have to prepare CALLIBISTRIS and weather deteriorating, it’s only on Sunday, October 24th at high tide that with Jean a friend who join us since one week, we can have a good farewell from Claude, and Liliane and from Stephanie, Frank and babies Yoem and Mailo, and we are gone in the current. Then terrible howl from Jacqueline, we forgot in “Reva” restaurant refrigerator the gravelac she had prepared. Channel is by far too narrow to turn back so we reverse against wind and current to come back in front of Reva and alongside the dinghies pontoon, but not touching it, Jean-Pierre called for help bring us our salmon but it is not yet the end as Jacqueline had promised Reva to give her a part of it to test her good cooking. At least we are leaving happy to get rid of the thousands Whangarei’s sun flies which beat you in such a way that for two days you have a hand or a foot double of its normal size with strong itch. Fifteen miles later we reach the river mouth, and we drop our anchor into the nice Urquharts Bay where quite a few boats have their permanent mooring.
follow the trip with a better scale, please click here below :
Could be the Sewing
Early morning next day we sail towards “Great Barrier Island” and having motoring for the 60 miles due to the lack of wind we enter Port Abercombie where we first go to Nagle Cove to visit the place where Murray and his wife spend 7 years when he was a fisherman and then we anchor in Karaka Bay wherefrom we can see a splendid sunset.
After a good night we sail into the very enclosed Port Fitzroy Bay and anchor nearby the wharf. We go onshore for a long walk and in the evening we climb the hill up to the friendly club-restaurant where the today special is delicious. On Wednesday, 27th we sail inside all the Port Fitzroy Coves and then leave it through the narrow Man of War Passage and head south through rocks and islands on our way to Whangaparapara Harbour. We anchor on the northwest corner close to the former whaling station when we are told by a nice guy coming to see us that we should better pick up the mooring beside us as his owner went fishing for a few days, beautiful, isn’t? With the dinghy we board the small wharf on the other side of the bay and inquire for the track to the hot spring nearby, but we are told it’s a two hours walk to go there one way and it is a bit late now. Next day sky is dark grey, no visibility so we are no more very exited by this walk and instead we sail of towards Mercury Island. It seems just to be a beach when we approach it, but suddenly we can see the narrow opening of a cove and thus fairly quickly we are into Huriri Harbor where within less than two meters of water we pick up a strong mooring. In the cove a few fishing boats and a catamaran with a couple on board, the scenery is great. As the weather deteriorates, we are happy to be in this beautiful and very secure mooring. This island belongs to its two rich owners, who made there a paradise but a part for the forest part of it they kindly let crew of visiting boats free access on land. In the evening we shall see a helicopter for one of them, a small white plane for the second one taking the owners to their land; we where most impress by the plane as the runway is just meadow sloping up towards a pass between two hills. Late afternoon our neighbour John brings a bucket full of scallops and thanks to him we had a fairly delicious diner. During the night wind catch up to gale force and following day, with such a miserable weather, a part from visiting each other with our neighbours, there is little choice then to work on board. On Saturday, weather improves but we have still strong southerly wind. We are on land for a very long walk through this beautiful island, its meadows with sheep, cows, bulls and horses. On the east shore we discovered a beautiful group of Pohutukawa trees, with their sculpture like trunk; they are already covered with small white flowers but those will be red in December offering a superb show.
On Sunday, we still get southerly wind presently very light, but we must go as Jean has to leave us on Monday. Leaving early we motor to Tauranga and at high tide slack we enter Bridge Marina. On Monday Jean took the bus to Auckland. We decide to stay one week in Tauranga in order to visit by car the south with its lakes and hot springs. So, on Wednesday, November 3rd we are driving south towards Rotorua and its lake. Beautiful road we discover this nature where meadows smoke, mud bubbles and colours are unbelievable. Rotorua is also Maori land and we spend our evening with them trying to understand a little bit of their traditions... Next day, we first have our hot spring bath and then we are back on the road towards Taupo. On our way we stop many times to see torrents, geothermal plants, again steam geyser and bubbling mud, surprising colours of land, rocks and water. We do not forget to stop at the factory, the only place we can get it, to buy the Rewarewa Honey Jacqueline like so much. At sunset Taupo Lake is beautiful and we end our day with our interesting hosts of our B&B. Friday we are on our way back to Tauranga watching for all marvellous sceneries we missed on our way.
On Saturday with the car we go for shopping and see how little interest has got Tauranga, but from there we could see so beautiful and interesting things.
We then decide that we won't sail any further south the east coast as we missed so many beautiful place on the north and when back in Opua we shall sail straight through the west to Nelson early December.
So on Tuesday we sail with a good wind and tack towards Mayor Island. As soon as we left it appears that the autopilot was not working; Michel this year did not yet change or at least clean the brush. He will do it as soon as we are anchored. On Mayor Island we find on the south a very nice cove fairly well sheltered. Mayor is a former volcano and there are quite a few nice tracks on this island covered by the biggest known forest of Pohutukawa trees. We went, alas, without our cameras on a track to see the tallest Pohukutawa tree, the diameter of its trunk is 4.8m and it covers far over 1000sqmeter, what a beauty nature offers us !
Wednesday we sail towards Whitianga and entering Mercury Bay (Mercury island is off this bay) we make our way inside small islands and rocks in order to go close to the beach at Cathedral Cove where beautiful naturally sculptured white stone worth the name of this cove. We go to anchor in the small Mara-Mara-Totara Bay, next to the mouth of the river. From there with the dinghy we enter the river and board the wharf to go on land and visit Whitianga town which is typically a clean town for summer holiday. We found there very nice fig-honey ice-cream.
Thursday November 11th we leave this huge Bay of Plenty and sailing around Coromandel Peninsula we enter in Hauraki Gulf. Our first anchorage is still on Coromandel Peninsula, within Te Kouma Harbour in Squadron Bay. We are alone there, except two small motor boats coming at night. We are in peace with ducks around us. Charming and so calm.
On Friday we take the narrow Ruthe Passage between Rotoroa Island and Ponui Island and sail south of Waiheke Island up to Huriki Bay in which williwaw are not as strong as in the previous bay.
Following day, we are on Saturday, we sail early to Auckland and by 8.30am we are berthed in front of Auckland in Bayswater Marina. There Liane and Simon had left a message telling us to join them tonight for dinner. With quite a bunch of their friends we had a very friendly party. It's good.
Today, Monday November 15th no one would say the weather is fine, we had huge thunder storm during the night with heavy rain and presently wind turns to gale, 30 to 40 knots gusting 50 and more. We are in a good shelter and can recover delay in our logs.
In December we should sail from Opua to Nelson (550 miles) and sail Queen Charlotte Sound and Pelorius Sound.
November 23rd, we are in Opua and we are just told trough an email that our tenth grandchild, the fourth kid, their second boy, of Elisabeth and Hugues Hennebert was born at 4.24am, 4.24pm our time while we were without success trying to send you our logs. We are so happy but we have to wait 4 or 5 month before we see him, that's long !
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