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                                Bay of Islands MOTURA ISLAND                                                                   

November 25

It's American Thanksgiving and the Opua Yacht Club put on a great turkey dinner. There were about 30 cruising friends there and it was a real treat.

November 27
Time to head on down to Whangarei. We had been waiting for the weather to settle for the past week as there was wind to 50 knots in the Marina and pouring rain for days. Finally we decided to leave anyway, and make short hops along the coast, beginning with a stopover in Army Bay in the Bay of Islands.

ARMY BAY, MOTURA

We arrived at Motura in time to try out our new scallop dredge before we set the hook. We circled around numerous times but found the strong wind to be a real deterrent. Eventually we got ONE! We did get a lot of seaweed and an octopus that spewed purple ink all over the transom. Finally we settled on A scallop snack! 

Then we anchored in Army Bay where we were immediately invited to a beach BBQ with a group of cruisers we hadn't met yet (mostly Brits and NZlanders). However we gratefully declined because of the rainy weather.

Next morning we hiked the island. It was a great trek through the forests and along creeks, quite unlike the hike we did from Paradise Bay. Again, there were spectacular views from vantage points high above the sea. We came across some old army bunkers and supports for anti aircraft guns.  Following are a few photos of the island.

Gord climbing over the slate rockView of the anchorageGord standing on the bunker and admiring the view of the islands

 

The well used walking tracks meandered through the trees and lush foliage. We met up with Tanya (Sorona) and Cindy (Pazzo) along the way.

ALL PHOTOS OF ARMY BAY

Moturua Island 008.jpg (144957 bytes)
Moturua Island 017.jpg (133150 bytes)Moturua Island 016.jpg (158230 bytes)Moturua Island 021.jpg (137572 bytes)At 5 am we headed out for Whangarei in order to get up the river on a rising tide. We rounded Cape Brett where the lighthouse silhouettes the rugged coastline. We watched the Excitor speeding passengers to the "Hole in the Rock" tourist attraction.

It was blowing pretty hard so we stopped at several anchorages along the way including Whangaruru, and Tutukaka. We did not go ashore because our dinghy was stowed away on the foredeck.

We arrived at the mouth of the River in perfect timing for high tide at the marina, along with Endless. Because we draw 8 feet it was important that we entered the marina on a rising tide. We were surprised to experience gusts of winds to 37 knots coming up the river to Whangarei.

next.....

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