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Sailing in New Zealand 2005

The following page was written up somewhat retrospectively as we found very little time to write up the sailing every day - usually we were too busy sailing during the day and after anchoring it is time to fish and cook before collapsing exhausted into bed. In the past we have never had time to take pictures on the move and often the weather has meant we were concerned about salt spray over the camera - this time the weather was kind to us and with a digital camera and plenty of cards we have more than made up with about 300 pictures to sort and decide which are worth printing and which have sufficient interest for the web site. The problem is that they are almost entirely blue skies and blue seas with a narrow line of interest across the middle or are grinning pictures of fish!

Before I start on the details of our two weeks afloat I should add a bit about sailing in general in New Zealand and the Hauraki Gulf in particular for those newcomers to the newsletter - there is also a web page on Sailing in New Zealand which provides more background. The yacht "Largesse" is a Raven 31 that we chartered for the fourth time from Charterlink, who mainly operate in the Hauraki Gulf, but also have boats in the Bay of Islands. We have used them 6 previous times in the Gulf, twice with a Carpenter 29 and the remaining times with Raven 31s - they are all written up and can be accessed via our New Zealand Sailing page. Charterlink's boats are mostly New Zealand designed and built - boats that sail well and are matched to the local conditions and are affordable. Charterlink is owned by Rob Threxton, who is not only a very experienced sailor himself but also brings considerable business skills and enthusiasm. We have got to know him quite well and joined his family for a barbeque the evening we got back from sailing.

The Raven 31 is a local design and, not surprisingly is 31 foot. The Ravens sail very well and can be handled safely by two people as most of the controls come back to the cockpit and she is fitted with an anchor winch. The Raven can in theory sleep 7 (who need to be very good friends) and has plenty of space for the two of us with the part time addition of a relation or two; we hoped that both my niece Christine and nephew Kev would be able to join us for part of the time, especially as Pete was not sure how his shoulder would stand up to sailing after being broken, but neither had the time. Largesse is an excellent example and carefully maintained - last year she had just had a new engine that we ran in carefully as it only had 1.5 hours on the clock when we picked her up. This year we took the engine hours up from 320 to 380 meaning we are quite a major user of Largesse. Like last year she had just been put back in the water after cleaning, antifouling and generally servicing. Last year she had a complete new set of interior furnishings in rich maroon suede complementing the sail covers and spray guards outside which still look pristine although the sail and spray dodger now need work to match the standard. She had also had a new heavier anchor chain which was a better match to the winch used for raising it, but needed careful control when lowering it by hand.

Coming back to the actual sailing: Our original intention had been to sail in the Bay of Islands, but with the yacht ending its previous trip back at its mooring in Auckland that meant we were going to have to do the 4 days coastal passage, both ways. The weather is not always good or predictable enough for this, so we decided to explore tha Auckland area instead. We had never been to the Mercury Islands, which are off the east coast of the Coromandel, and hoped that we would have good enough conditions to get there. Janet at Charterlink said it was a good place, and it was only on our return we found that she had not been there herself. We adopted a more pragmatic approach than in the past and used the motor more if the winds were very light, especially at the start of long days and ended up covering far more miles than we had ever achieved in the past.

Day by Day

Bayswater, Auckland to Oneroa, Waiheke 3 hours, 13.1 nmilesIt always takes a long time to load everything from our campervan, drive it back over the Harbour Bridge to Tomlinson, and then go back to Bayswater by the convenient ferry from Downtown. We bought our last icecream for 2 weeks at the Ferry Terminal. It was 1400 before we had finished loading, had our briefing and set off. The wind was SW 25, said to be gusting 35 so we set off with the main set up for a reef but in the event we never put the main up and had an easy downwind sail with just the jib - even so we were doing 6 knots or over with only part of the jib unfurled - we were surprised to find we were holding or overtaking other yachts with a main set. Choices for overnight meant we headed for Waiheke island, on the north side, at Oneroa.

Oneroa to Bon Accord, Kawau 8 hrs 25, 29.6 nmiles The forecast today was good, and we found the wind was light, rising to 10 then 15, and SW turning SE. One of the delights of NZ sailing is that the wind can come at you from all directions on the same day. However the Met Service forecasts, together with now-casting, enabled us to get a good feel for what was about to happen. We passed by Tiritiri, one of the nowcasting points. It was only early afternoon and we wondered whether to go straight for a mooring and to visit Mansion House, one of the NZ Historic Places Trust properties on Kawau. But the thought of more sailing won, and we turned away towards the islands and looked at the wreck of the Rewa, a boat deliberatly sunk to create an artificial harbour - unfortunately they miscalculated and only the smallest of boats can get in behind her. Eventually we moored at Harris, a bay within the main harbour of Bon Accord.

Bon Accord to Wairahi, Great Barrier 9 hrs 15, 32.8 nmiles Today was Pete's birthday so we were off early, at 0715, aiming for Great Barrier, hopefully the first stage on our route to the Mercury Islands. We left Kawau through the North Channel, with light SW winds. We kept an ear on the nowcasting at Tiritiri and at Channel Island between Great Barrier and the Coromandel.

The weather quickly improved and we passed Little Barrier and reached our entry to Port Fitzroy by 1600. We then had some shelter and could then take our time working our way in through the islands, past Paget Rock, a nasty unmarked and largely underwater rock requiring one to hug one coast or other, then on into the Man-of-War passage, a deep but narrow passage which has strong currents and swirling winds - it is safest to motor-sail in or at least have the engine running and ready. Then it was just a short cruise to our favourite mooring in Wairahi Bay down a side arm based on the forecast and ended up facing outwards by dusk, this was not to be the last time we ended up the same way after following the forecasts! The whole of Port Fitzroy is actually very sheltered and one could moor anywhere even in a gale. As soon as we had the anchor down we were joined by a couple of the rare brown teal that inhabit Great Barrier Island.

Wairahi to Kiwiriki, Great Barrier 5 hrs 15, 14.6 nmiles Today we just explored the rest of the Port Fitzroy Harbour area, heading north. We worked our way round the inside of the harbour, in and out of all the little bays with a troll behind us. We used just the jib and kept it well reefed as we needed to keep the speed down for the troll and to enjoy the view. We are ever hopeful to catch a fish although Pauline had packed enough steak and lamb to keep us well fed without. We caught our first Kahawai opposite Smokehouse Bay, then went back over the same area a further 3 times, collecting an extra 3 Kahawai. This solved our food problem ! We like Kahawai, although most locals use it only as a baitfish. You have to gut it immediately to stop the dark red blood staining the flesh, and it is a meaty fish rather like mackerel.

We continued exploring the inside as far as Port Abercrombie, another large sheltered harbour where we had hooked lots of large Kahawai with the troll previous years. We tried several bays as potential mooring sites including a trip into Bush's Beach - an idyllic spot we have used before but one needs to take care as it dries out completely after a steep shelf at the end of the bay. There were several boats moored at the end and we did a tentative pass to see if there was room us to moor as well close enough to swim ashore - we went round one one which seemed close to the shore and found there was only a couple of feet under the keel as we slipped a few metres in front of him - we suspect he may have got a surprise as the tide was still falling!

Bush's Beach is on a spur from the many DOC walking tracks on Great Barrier and comes complete with picnic table, barbecues and long drop. We stopped here a couple of years ago and did the walk up to one of the old Kauri Logging Dams high up in the valley. The Kauri forests were well inland and there was no easy way to get the logs to the sea or other routes to saw mills. The logs were therefore dragged to a convenient streambed with steep sides and a Kauri Dam was constructed of wood with a "trapdoor" near the bottom large enough for the logs to pass through. The logs were typically a couple of metres diameter and 4-5 metres long so the door was considerable size and the dam was tens of metres high. The trapdoor was constructed so that when the dam was full, and that could take a year, it could be tripped and the water released. The logs floating above the dam were sucked down through the hole and swept down to the sea, sixteen miles away in the case of this one on Great Barrier Island.

Passing the fish farm opposite, with the troll still in the water, we trapped our first Trevally. It was just 30cms, a legal size, and a good table fish. Largesse has a good fridge and large freezer, which was useful since we have only caught fish in the Outer Gulf and wanted to keep a few for the end of the holiday. Not wanting to go back to Wairahi again, we ended up next door in Kiriwiki Bay where we had not moored overnight before. The holding is as good as the others with an apparently more favourable protection from the wind and any swell as one is hidden behind a couple of islands making it a harbour within a harbour. We ate the Trevally fresh for supper.

Kiwiriki to Kiwiriki 7 hrs 20, 21.5 nmiles This afternoon Pauline had to send back her OU marking, it having a deadline for the students of midday today. It is not a good idea to send any solutions back before the deadline and one or two always arrive late. Mobile coverage was good just outside Kiwiriki Bay, which was handy. On trolling through the same spot as yesterday we caught another Kahawai, 37cms and 0.5 kilos, which is a good size for a meal. Pauline had an hours marking to do, so Pete settled on the tiller leaving her inside to work and ended up putting all the sails up single handed as the wind came up. Continuing through Port Abercrombie, we reached Katherine Bay before she had finished, and she surfaced just in time to see a flying fish. We have never seen them in New Zealand, only from large ships, and had not realised how large they could be

Kiwiriki to Port Fitzroy to Graveyard Bay 7 hrs 45, 18.0 nmiles We had in a previous trip moored alongside the wharf at Port Fitzroy to top up the diesel, and this was our first priority today. It was not urgent, but was an easy wharf to go alongside and we didn't want to abandon our trip to the Mercury Islands because of lack of fuel, or even worse, get stuck there waiting for winds for the return. We had seen a long line of boats leaving Smokehouse Bay and heading down to the arm with the wharf and were relieved to find them moored. We had worrried there might be a long wiggling line of boats awaiting space for diesel but the wharf was quiet and a boat moved off the fuel pumps as we arrived. The wind was light so we could back in neatly at the end to get close to the pump. Largesse takes 80 litres and we had only used 18 litres so far in 19 hours of engine time, which gave us a good feeling for her fuel consumption, although some of the hours had been at 3-4 knots whilst exploring and trolling and many had been to make up the recommended hour to hour and a half to keep the freezer cold and the batteries high. The fridge compressor is run directly from the engine.

Having collected a 43cm Kahawai (about a couple of pounds weight) we set off through Man-Of-War passage and through the inside channels, heading south towards Whangaparapara harbour. We made good progress, reaching the entry at lunchtime as the Great Barrier ferry boat entered. We noticed two boats fishing and as we looked one landed a large snapper. Thinking that they must have a fishfinder on board we decided to fish too. So we just floated with the current off Whangara Island, catching 4 snapper and one John Dory in about an hour and a half and three drifts in the gentle breeze through the area - we did not fancy mooring in 35 metres. We had They never caught a John Dory before and Pete thought he just had a large lump of seaweed on the line as it was completely passive as he hauled it up from about 30 metres. They are ugly nasty fish, with an enormous mouth, long spines, but taste wonderful. apparently move very slowly to creep up on their prey and then extend their huge tubular mouth to engulf the unspecting fish. Ours was 1.6 kilos (three and a half pounds), but much less once we chopped its head off. Thank goodness for the freezer, where the snapper joined the kahawai for the future. For us, it is an important principle that fish which are caught are eaten, not wasted. And the steak and lamb were vacuum packed and could wait until we got back to Auckland to share with family.

We explored Whangaparapara harbour before anchoring in Graveyard Bay. This mooring is just inside the entry, by Lighthouse Point, and there is indeed a little graveyard which can be accessed by dinghy. We had no outboard and couldn't be bothered to row across, but we have been there in a previous year.

Graveyard Bay to Bon Accord 6 hrs 30, 34.8 nmiles It was decision time - to go to the Mercury Islands the obvious starting point would be Tryphena harbour, just an hour beyond Whangaparapara, on the corner of Great Barrier. The weather forecast however did not sound settled, and it has to be settled to go on the east side of the Coromandel. It was also to be from the NW which was not a good direction. So we decided to abandon our attempt and head back into the Hauraki Gulf, returning to Bon Accord harbour in Kawau. In the event, the wind was North rising to just over 15 knots and we had an excellent sail on a broad reach, eventually with one reef. The first hour we only averaged 4 knots, but for each of the next 5 hours we logged 6 nmiles each hour with speeds approaching 6.5 knots at times, making 34 nmiles in 6 hours of effortless sailing over ground we knew well enough to hardly need the chart once we had set a course.

Bon Accord to Man-O-War, Waiheke 6hrs 05, 37.4 nmiles Until now the weather had been beautiful with bright sunshine. Today was dismal and cloudy with rain in the distance over Auckland. The forecast was NW15 rising to 20 then turning to SW. At Tiritiri the current wind at 0800 was max 25 knots average 20. So we started with one reef and found our waterproofs.

The intention was to head towards Waiheke, and because of the weather we were aiming for Oneroa Bay, which was the closest and provided shelter from the SW. With limited visibility we plotted our course and eventually the gap between Tiritiri and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula appeared out of the murk. The weather was improving as we headed for Rakino island, which was just as well because we needed to cross the main shipping channel, and it is nice to be able to see approaching vessels. In the distance we saw a container ship which was stationary but then noticed some other smaller shapes. As we continued it became clear that the NZ Navy were leaving harbour. Eventually the four ships grouped together in a neat line and we turned away as they passed, sail having right of way is one thing but one does not argue with frigates and it minimised the effect of their wash as they accelerated away. Later we saw a fifth ship creeping along the edge of Motutapu, its grey-green hull just visible against the hillside.

As the weather continued to improve we turned along the coast of Waiheke, evenutally passing Gannet Rock and turning into the Waiheke passage and anchoring at Man-O-War bay on the east coast of Waiheke. There are a number of gannet rocks in the Gulf, each named for the obvious colony of gannets which live there. They have a distinctive colour, with their white tops, and are visible from some distance. Having made ourselves comfortable and opened a nice bottle of wine another yacht arrived - it was 3 masted and as it approached we could see that it was the Spirit of New Zealand. We had seen her previously at Wellington. She is a sail training boat and we heard a lot of cheerful young people on board in the evening.

Man-O-War to Tryphena, Great Barrier 7 hrs 50, 34.7 nmiles Today the forecasts were looking more promising with a settled period with winds from the western quadrant so the Mercury Islands looked a possibility. Our first target was the Coromandel, passing our favourite DOC camping place at Fantail. The weather continued to look good so we passed between Channel Island at the end of the Coromandel and moored in Tryphena. The recommended moorings on the left were full of mooring buoys, but only one boat, so it took us some time to find a reasonable gap. Then our depth and the chart indicated that we were close to a shelf and that it would be prudent to moor a few feet further out to avoid possible surprises if the wind swung overnight, the only time we had to re-moor this time. We caught lots of snapper, but only one was pansized. We had noticed an enormous red buoy behind us, which looked unused, but in the middle of the night a boat arrived. Fortunately we were far enough away although the noise and their lights did wake us up.

Tryphena to Mercury Cove 5 hrs 30, 25.4 nmiles Today we were finally going to the Mercury Islands, so we left Tryphena at 0700, which was just dawn. We had decided that if we didn't like the Mercury Islands we would have enough time to get back to Tryphena before dark. Visibility was not good, with the Coromandel all hidden in cloud when we left. We set our compass course and could clearly see Cuvier island, although nothing further. The sea was glassy smooth and it was not a day for sailing.

The area is well known for dolphins and several joined us as we progressed. There are also sometimes whales in the area. One highlight was seeing the sea boiling with fish, and lots of dolphins racing in through the water to join the birds who were plunging into the mass of fish. Pauline thought she saw big dolphins in the maelstrom. This was all happening just in front of us and Pete grabbed his troll with a view to benefitting from the fishing. However we only caught a bird who wrapped itself around our line. We cut it free, and unhurt, but it meant that a length of old line was lost. Another boiling mass of fish in the distance seemed to have a long black slug in its midst, and our photos show that there was a whale there. Later a whale, perhaps the same one, came across our bows heading inshore, presumably in search of more fish. The problem with a digital camera is that it only allows you to take pictures which are in focus, and it won't focus on waves. So each picture was set up with manual focus, which is too slow and timeconsuming when you want a quick photo of something exciting nearby.

By now the weather was improving, we could see the Coromandel coast, and we discussed between ourselves which of the various bits of island ahead might be Great Mercury Island as they appeared out of the murk. We arrived at Mercury Cove at low tide, just 0.3 above datum as they were 'springs', which was useful because we saw the worst of the moorings. The Akaroa Cruising Guide suggests there is 3.6 metres off the old wharf at the entry to Mercury Cove so that was our destination. We followed their sketch to identify the entry to the cove, and then spotted the masts of other yachts, all bigger than we were. This was encouraging, so we threaded our way among mooring buoys to explore depths. We were not confident that we could fit between the others, and the depth under the keel was less than we like ( down to 0.8 metres at times) so we went back to the deeper mooring opposite the wharf. Even here it was under 1 metre under the keel, making just 2.5 metres of water. Not trusting of technology in this situation we got out our weight and string to confirm the depth. We suggest others mooring here should take care of depths. Otherwise there are good easy moorings at White Beach nearby. It was still only 1235. We checked the local Whitianga continuous weather forecast on Channel 23 to make sure there were going to be no surprises and settled down with a few books and Pete took out the dinghy to take some pictures. The natives do not like people landing in the area and although there is water at the wharf you are not allowed to moor alongside and have to row to collect it.

Mercury Cove to Whitianga to Kennedy Bay, Coromandel 8 hrs, 42.1 nmiles Having settled weather, but no wind, it seemed a shame to rush back to the Hauraki Gulf so Pauline suggested we continue to explore by motoring to Whitianga which was the cruising limit for Largesse. Leaving Great Mercury Island we needed to pass through the Hole in the Wall, which is so full of islands that there is a sketch drawing in the Akaroa Cruising Book showing the approaches for the inner and outer passages.

We had no problems with the outer passage and had just turned towards Whitianga, by the well-named Needle Rock, when we saw another boiling mass of fish. This time there was no hesitation and we started to troll, quickly catching a serious 51cm kahawai, weighing just a spot under 2 kilos. We were probably fortunate that we had hit the gull earlier as we had been forced to cut and through away a lot of line which was old and exposed on the reel and would probably not have stood up to the strain as Kahawai are fighting fish.

One hour later we were within sight of Whitianga town and shortly afterwards had anchored in Buffalo Bay long enough for a late breakfast and for Pete to have a swim. We remembered the town and its pretty beach from visits by car.

Being limited in time because we had only 5 days remaining of our charter, we set off back, taking an inner passage. Passing the Twins on the inside this time and then clearing Old Man Rock, we had a choice of returning to Great Mercury Island or trying somewhere different. The wind direction was good so we decided to anchor in Kennedy Bay, a nice sheltered harbour on the east coast of the Coromandel, just opposite Great Mercury Island. The north side of the bay was filled with a fishfarm but there was plenty of mooring space on the south side, just off the village and the sandy beach. The winds had come up enough to sail as we left Whitianga and we approached with a fair speed as the wind had steadily increased during the afternoon. There was a swell from the NE but it was no problem once we were in shelter.

Kennedy Bay to Channel Island to Bon Accord 10 hrs 40, 58.1 nmiles When we left Kennedy Bay at 0700 the winds were forecast to be North West 15 changing to South West 20 in the afternoon. It seemed prudent to leave our choice of final destination Kawau, Waiheki or Te Kouma, until we had a firm forecast at midday and could get the nowcasting for Tiritiri. The wind was reasonable initially and we started sailing but it quickly dropped to only provide two knots and was on the nose most of the way so we motor sailed for most of the way to Channel Island, then we were able to start sailing. We could not understand why the wind was so low as we seemed to be far enough offshore to not be shielded and the nowcasting from Channel Island indicated winds strong enough to sail. It took a long time to pass Channel Island even motor sailing and at the end of the day the GPS journey length and the ships log (recording progress through the water by a little "paddle wheel") showed a difference of nearly 6 Nmiles, almost certainly due to the tide which runs strongly in the region of channel island. The tides are so strong in the channel between Channel Island and the Coromandel that it is not advised to use the inner passage if the wind is over 12-15 knots as the combination of wind over water can give very rough and uneven seas. At 1020 both Channel Island and Tiritiri were reporting winds from 245, CI averaging 17 and Tiri just 9 knots, so that helped us make the choice to go to Kawau round the outside of Channel Island rather than to Te Kouma on the Coromandel or Waiheke.

As the wind increased from 15 to 20 the seas changed from the nice glassy surface of the previous few days and became moderate. We had begun sailing with one reef and were able to continue with that throughout the day, and as we approached Kawau we gradually reduced the amount of jib. Even so our speeds were steadily increasing and we had a period at 7.5 knots with brief periods of 7.8 knots, the highest we recorded this holiday. We had been taking turns to sit at the tiller for hours and hours, maintaining a steady course of 250 degrees to reach the North Channel into Kawau. This was hard on the wind and until the very end it was never clear that we would avoid time consuming tacks so we were pleased to work our way into the North Channel expecting a nice peaceful hour to our mooring at Bon Accord. On turning into Kawau Bay with just main and engine we were confronted with bright blue choppy water over which we bounced completing the job of cleaning the anchor and deck back to the spray dodger. Apparently it happens when the wind is from the SW. The seas were transformed as we turned into Bon Accord and everything was peaceful outside Mansion House. It was difficult to believe that we had finally reached the end of a wonderfully varied and interesting day, almost certainly the longest days journey we have completed in our sailing so far.

Bon Accord to Bon Accord 6 hrs, 27.2 nmiles After the major journey the previous day we decided some local sailing was in order and we sailed along the coast towards the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Tiritiri, looking at the islands and the wreck of the Rewa. There are recommended fishing spots off Motuora, Moturekareka and Motuketekete islands. In spite of our troll we had no success, and returned to Bon Accord just as the weather changed and it started to rain.

Bon Accord to Te Kouma, Coromandel 11 hrs, 52.7 nmiles Leaving at 0700 we wanted to go to Te Kouma, and chose a major journey, so we had an intermediate target of Waiheke. We aimed for the outside of Tiritiri but we were hard on the windthe easy option of sailing through the gap between Tiritiri and the Whangaparaoa peninsula intending a long tack across to reach or clear Waiheke.

It was Sunday so we had to thread our way through lots of anchored fishing boats - not easy when dependent on the wind and that changes when shielded by the island. Passing Rakino island the fallback plan had been to anchor in Oneroa on Waiheke, but it was early and only another 23 nmiles to Te Kouma.

We had just enough wind to start the tack to sail along the coast of Waiheke but then there was a flat calm and we motored across to the Coromandel. Instead of heading directly to Te Kouma we aimed for Motuoruhi island and the Haupaka Channel to drop our troll past the mussel farms hoping for tea. There was a slight breeze ruffling the water so the jib came back out and we ended the day with a pleasant sail at 4 knots past the mussel farms and Coromandel harbour for the last 5 nmiles before mooring in Squadron Bay, in Te Kouma.

Te Kouma to Owhiti Bay 9 hrs 40, 40 nmiles Pauline had been keeping a daily log of distances and mentioned that we had done 442 nmiles so far. This left just 58 more if we wanted to reach 500, and one full day. So we began plotting our options. We had to get back into the Inner Gulf tonight so that we had just a morning sail back to Bayswater the following day. But where should we go ?

We had hoped to anchor near Kennedy Point to visit family who have a house there, but the wind direction was from the east and their little bay was unsuitable. The first step was to get back from Te Kouma so we left at dawn in variable winds and slowly wafted away towards the Ruthe Passage. Impatience eventually set in and we started the engine, but almost immediately the wind became more settled and we could sail. We joined another visiting yacht from Germany in the Tamaki Strait and together settled goose-winged towards Auckland in the distance but we soon left them behind until they were a dot in the distance, the Raven 31 with a clean hull sails beautifully whilst they were, to be fair, probably covered in barnicles after a journey from Europe. We were still goose-winged when the Subritsky ferry from Kennedy Point came to say "Hello" just at the entry to the Motuihe Channel. We had to wait for him to pass before we could turn across. We passed Matiatia Bay before turning along the north coast of Waiheke.

The wind varied through 45 degrees and we found we were having to do a series of tacks just to maintain our course past Oneroa and Onetangi. In one mad moment we thought of going all the way round Waiheke and mooring on Ponui Island, but that would have meant a very early start the next day to get back to Bayswater on time. We have a nice book of Anchorages in the Hauraki Gulf, and the cover depicts Owhiti Bay. We have never been there before, but it looked delightful and was in the right place at the right time so after a few tacks in variable winds down to Gannet Rock off the end of Waiheke we turned back to have a look. We had noticed a stream and a valley on the eastern side from the picture and there was a slight funnelling of wind but nothing that was a problem so we moored for the night. The few other boats present departed as dusk approached and we had the bay to ourselves.

Owhiti Bay to Bayswater 5 hrs 21.3 nmilesWe left early again, but were able to sail from the beginning of the day. We also caught a kahawai with the troll while passing Onetangi, which was a bonus for our last day. The wind was on a broad reach to begin, then made a less good angle for us as we turned towards Auckland, requiring one tack to clear Bean Rock. The sun was shining and we had plenty of time to take a few final photos of Bean Rock, Devonport and the Auckland waterfront. Our total holiday had been 503 nmiles.

This year in 15 days we covered 503 nautical miles (GPS based measurents) in 117 hours and had used 60 litres of diesel quite a lot of which was charging batteries and cooling the fridge whilst at anchor or sometimes even out of gear whilst sailing. In comparison last year in 14 days we covered a more typical 330 nautical miles in 85 hours and used 40 litres of diesel for the engine.

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