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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)

Port Fitzroy
03/04/2014, Port Fitzroy

Spent half the morning trying to inflate new dinghy to right pressure. It seems that there may be a problem with pump as it seemed OK with old one. Then having got it in the water we found that the outboard bolts had seized up and we could not release it. Tried WD40, hot water, hairdryer, wrecked a set of adjustable pliers and eventually gave up and had lunch. Success came early afternoon and we went to Port Fitzroy to get rid of rubbish, buy petrol (for outboard) and have a walk. Went half way to Okiwi on the other side but having reached the top decided that to go down the other side might have been OK but the return up was not. Lovely walk through forest but not many views as blocked by tall trees.

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