Sunday, March 15, 2009

We had a great time cruising Great Barrier Island. I have 2 great blogs written but they are back on the boat. The boat is anchored in Kawau Island and I am in Warkworth. I came over in a water taxi to do a bit of shopping and check our e-mail. I slept in this morning and only just made the taxi forgetting the stick with the pictures and blogs on it. There was no internet access on Great Barrier that I could find. Highlights of the visit was Smokehouse Bay, a spot that the cruising community had built. It had basins for doing your laundry, with wringers attached and a ready water supply, as well as clotheslines. The best part was the bathhouse. You had to chop wood, lit a fire, hang about for about 2 hours chopping and feeding the fire and then you had enough hot water to have a bath. We were in the area long enough to do our laundry and I managed to have 2 baths, 2 more than I had in the whole of 2008!!! I was in heaven.
The Kiwis have a wonderful system of walks all over the place. I tramped all over the island up to a Kauri dam and to the top of a few ridges where you could gaze for miles. We ran into a bunch of crazy sailing Kiwis when we went to visit Arid Island and ended up being inducted into the Arid Island Yacht Club. I have a whole blog about that but just to tease you a little there symbol is an upside down bull, the commodore wears horns to the meetings and you have to grovel in order to become a member of the club.
It is getting into their fall season and so far we figured out that it means the weather is changable. You get 3 or 4 days of lovely sunny weather and then it blows up a gale and we would have to take the boat into a protected cove and hunker down for a couple of days. Fortunately Great Barrier had a number of good anchorages so although we spent about a third of the time there waiting out big winds we were always in a different spot.
Kawau Island is in the Hauraki Gulf and we plan to spend some time here, exploring the islands in the gulf. One of the Arid Island bunch invited us to visit when we get to Auckland so we may well do that and try and see a little more of that city. Hopefully I will get near a computer some time soon and will be able to upload those lovely blogs I wrote and some of the pictures. We are really enjoying being out cruising again. I've had some nightmares about going back to work, hadn't realized I was worried about it. Our time on the water seems to be very short, we will be pulled out in less than a month and then we have to return to our old life, HMMMMM!!