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23/04/2014, Whangarei

The new cooker now installed with correct legal connectors. The Radar is working. The autohelm has a new part installed, not the right one but has been adjusted to fit. Unfortunately not stainless steel so has to be smothered in grease to try and reduce rusting but is working! So bought some more bits and pieces today tomorrow we return the hire car and buy a supply of meat and veg (already have pasta rice and other long life food). Leave for Opua where we will get generator serviced and then Tonga when we get weather window.

19/04/2014, Pataua

Went into town to see if we could get parts to install new cooker, came back feeling rather down as nothing available 'off the shelf' as New Zealand thread different from European. We should be able to get a connector made up but will have to wait until after Easter. Soon after return Scot turned up with our radar, nice surprise as he said he was away for weekend if weather was nice. Radar now refitted and working so we are a step closer to departure.
This afternoon went to Pataua beach. Lovely afternoon, walked along beach and around inlet. Kids were jumping off bridge into river - it looked a long way down to me but they seemed to be enjoying it

Back to Whangarei
12/04/2014, Urquarts Bay

Left the Great Barrier Islands earlier than intended as radar has packed up and so needed to sort out repair. The autohelm went out in sympathy as we left so have that to do as well. Anchored at mouth of river and will go up to marina tomorrow.

07/04/2014, Great Barrier Islands

Have seen real live Penguins, and managed to get a photo not very clear because of boat movement

Salthouse Bay
05/04/2014, Great Barrier Island

Anchored in Salthouse Bay. Small beach with hut, showers and eco toilet. Hot water for the showers and washing clothes if you want to stoke up the wood burner (you have to replace any wood you use but there is a fair bit around), there is even a row of old fashioned mangles. Another hut provides a smokehouse for any fish you catch. All this is maintained by voluntary donations and volunteer labour. The fresh spring water is also piped out to piles just off beach so you can refill tanks. It seems quite busy and is popular facility even if only to go in for gossip.

Swing Bridge
04/04/2014, Great Barrier Island

Walked from Kaiaraara Bay along Bush's Beach track to the Kaiaraara Hut, which is an overnight stopover Hut for trekkers across a swing bridge (heart in mouth as I crossed as I did not like the motion or height above ground) and along Kaiaraara Track towards the Kauri Dams. This was where the loggers dammed the river and then when they had felled enough timber broke the dam to send the logs crashing down the valley on the flood. Looking at it now it is difficult to imagine how they did it. Although the old trees are long gone there is regeneration and the young trees are protected. You have to spray shoes and walking sticks etc to prevent spread of die back disease which is killing trees (much as Dutch Elm Disease has in UK)

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