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17/12/2014, Marsden

Have now had several days of appalling weather. Strong winds and heavy rain, hurricane force winds have lashed parts of the coast and the boat has been heeling over while tied up in the marina. This afternoon the rain eased and we decided to make a break for it and headed for the visitor centre at the refinery. There was a well put together presentation and it was very interesting. Better still when we came out the sun was out so we went for walk on Ruakaka Beach

13/12/2014, Marina

Weather gone downhill rapidly, cold and wet again

Back to Marsden
10/12/2014, Marsden

Leisurely return visiting beaches and harbours on route, mainly to see if they would be suitable destinations for the boat. Mangonui was pretty with a number of old wooden buildings, a 'world famous' fish shop and a busy fishing fleet but not suitable for us to anchor as mostly too shallow. Whangaroa was also very pretty and provided a variety of protected anchorages fulfilling requirents. We then stopped at Kerikeri for the best fish and chip lunch but had to eat inside as it was raining. Next stop Paihia to fill the gas cylinder and were very disappointed to find the supermarket had closed. Last year this was a good place to anchor off as we could shop (Kerikeri and Opua are too far without a car). On to Opua to talk to James about consumer rights, not only was he helpful but invited us for Christmas Day.

09/12/2014, As Above

Moved to Whatuwhiwhi which was only about half an hour from Awanui but on the Pacific East Coast of North Island. Found a very nice site by the beach. Practice makes perfect and this time had the tent up very quickly and bagged a picnic table again. We had a quick lunch and then down to the beach. The site was very busy as there was a wedding party, I was invited to join them for the bar-b-q but we had already eaten and were a bit more sober than the other guests. By early evening the party was over so we opted to use the kitchen and bar-b-q area which was clean and very well equipped. We had planned on leaving next day but decided to stay another night, see a bit more of the area and have an afternoon on the beach as it was so much warmer. Went along coast as far as Coopers beach where we bought our food and then to Matai Bay for a swim and sunbathe.

We have wheels
05/12/2014, AHIPARA

We have been loaned some wheels so able to continue our camping trip and get our equipment back to boat. We did 220 mile round trip to collect them which took nearly all day as slow going on twisty mountain roads. We still do not know the long term outcome for our Merc and will have to wait until it is taken back to Whangarei.

Distaster strikes
04/12/2014, Aupori Peninsula

Today travelled up the Aupori Peninsula (that is the long skinny bit at the top of North Island that looks like a rays tail) ti Cape Reinga. We were very lucky with the weather, warm and sunny with beautiful clear blue skies - perfect for seeing the views. Reinga is where the Spirits of the dead depart from. They arrive via 90 mile beach and at the cape slide down the roots of a pohutukawa tree into the ocean, climbing out on Ohaua (which you can just see in the photos) the highest of the Three Kings Islands. There they make a final farewell before returning to the Ancestors in Hawaiiki.
Spirits Bay a few mile back was also spectacular but was also where our luck ran out. The engine started getting a bit hot (water temp) we stopped gave car a bit of a rest, checked oil and water levels which were OK so continued slowly but oil warning came on so had to stop again. Middle of nowhere but several people stopped to offer help, even a tow if we had a rope (which we didn't). We had taken out road rescue so were able to get to nearest town and car in lockup for night but had to hire a car to get back to tent which was miles away.

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