SAILAWAY

25 December 2018 | Marina
24 December 2018 | Marina
21 December 2018 | Regent, Whangarei
17 December 2018 | Whangarei
14 December 2018 | Thames
13 December 2018 | Waiomu
12 December 2018 | Whangapoua
11 December 2018 | Cathedral Cove
09 December 2018 | Waterworks
09 December 2018 | Shelly Beach
09 December 2018 | Route 309
08 December 2018 | Port Charles
07 December 2018 | Thames
17 November 2018 | Marsden Cove Marina
13 November 2018 | Marsden Cove Marina
28 October 2018 | Noumia
27 October 2018 | Noumia
22 October 2018 | Noumia
21 October 2018 | Ilot Mbe Kouen
18 October 2018 | Tiare

Christmas Day

25 December 2018 | Marina
Penny
The day started with beautiful blue sky but by the time we had had the 'Big Breakfast' (sadly minus boudin) it was starting to cloud up a bit. Still warm and sunny we made for the beach, it was quite busy around the car park area with many in the sea, but not a Bar-B-Q in site we had all heard the weather forecast and were prewarned.
We had the best of the day and returned to the boat to get the dinner ready. The torrential rain came as promised but we still managed to do some of the cooking under the bimini but had to eat it inside. So we had a traditional Christmas Dinner with Christmas Pud to the strains of Pavarotti. Plenty of left overs for Boxing Day!

Pontoon Party

24 December 2018 | Marina
Penny
We had planned a pontoon party as there were several boats staying in the Marina over Christmas, we had a fallback that we would use Marina office and under the balcony as it seemed likely that it would be showery, but the rain was so heavy we would have been soaked just getting up there and even drinks with next door fell through.

Christmas Shopping

21 December 2018 | Regent, Whangarei
Penny
The weather if definitely not good for Christmas, a mix of showers, strong winds and torrential rain so it looks like we are staying in the marina. We had another look around for a butcher out at Kamo and although we found one that had nice looking meat he did not do turkey or duck (only fresh meat) It seems that they only come frozen. The hams were huge so not suitable. We also checked up on galvanising our anchor chain, we can leave it when we go back to uk and collect on return. On the way back into town centre we came across New World and Countdown in Regent and decided we would shop here as town centre was heaving. Countdown was just as bad with people queuing for parking and barging in out of turn but New World just the other side of the road had plenty of parking spaces. Everything seemed very new so they must have recently opened. Had a good meat counter and with some difficulty found suet, shop assistant did not know what it was but found it in 'foreign' foods (the vegetarian version) the beef and lamb suet was with the olive oil (silly me had been looking around the flour area where it is at home). Thanks Sue would not have persisted if I did not know it was there somewhere. We found nearly everything we needed and I crossed to Countdown (where they were still queuing for parking) on foot for croissants and sausages.

Shopping

17 December 2018 | Whangarei
Penny
Shopping trip to restock boat and get ready to go to Bay of Islands for Christmas, although long range forecast suggests that weather will be less than perfect. Had a look around for turkeys ducks or hams. No fresh birds and fresh hams too large to fit in the oven. The jacaranda trees are out and looking beautiful. It is a shame it is such a short flowering period.

Back 'Home'

14 December 2018 | Thames
Penny
Had a wonderful 'holiday' in Coromandel staying with Jeff (Airbnb). He provided lovely room with ensuite shower, breakfast and a meal most evenings. We had a relaxing time. A quick stop in Thames to buy meat and veggies and then back to boat with not even a loo stop, a bit too fast for my liking at times but then I was not driving.

Waiomu River Trail

13 December 2018 | Waiomu
Penny
The Waiomu Kauri Grove walk on the Thames Coast leads to a peaceful grove of kauri. It starts amoungst pohutukawa on the coast and rises to a
stand of giant trees giving a sense of what Coromandel native forest looked like before the kauri were logged during the 1800s and early 1900s. Logging continued until to the 1960s.
After braving the cold waters of the ford at the end of Waiomu Valley Rd, we followed a gravel road for a few hundred metres to reach the beginning of the trail. Chris waded through in his sandals but I did not want to get my shoes wet so went barefoot. It was cemented so not uncomfortable for my feet
A quick stop to read the history boards, then we climbed a stile and headed into along a wide path through regenerating bush, following the river. We had to do the shoe cleaning routine to try and prevent spread of kauri dieback disease.
Online research said to be prepared to get wet feet from the many stream crossings but new bridges had been built so our feet stayed dry (apart from the ford on the River Road) as we made our way up the track.
The online desciptions said there were many mine shafts and tunnels but they were well hidden in bush so we did not see any. We were not tempted to search for them in case we fell down an unguarded shaft.
Not far from the start of the trail, a short side track leads across the stream to the old Monowai Goldmine battery site, which we decided to visit on the way back.
The Tapu-Waiomu goldfield was one of the smallest on the Coromandel Peninsula and the Monowai was one of the most productive mines in the area until its battery burnt down 1933, ending large-scale mining in the Waiomu area.
The track was mostly gently sloping and easy along gravelled walking path but towards the end a final bridge crossing took us to the beginning of a short 10-minute steep climb up some wooden steps. I was glad of the hand rail as they were very steep.
At this point the tall, straight trunks of kauri trees start to emerge from the bush and on the
other side of the ridge, another cluster of large kauri group together on the side of the steep hill, and there are more still around the corner, on the track that continues to Crosbies Hut, but we stopped at this point as we thought we had walked far enough
The trees although tall and straight were just babies compared to others we have seen. Kauri are among the world's largest trees, growing to over 50m tall, with trunk girths up to 16m, and living for over 2,000 years.
After a short rest we returned by the same route.
We side tracked to the battery site but the path involved leaping from boulder to boulder to cross the stream and I,m not too good at that so gave it a miss. The road ford was deeper on our return but the cold water was much appreciated to cool hot feet.
The ginger beer in the car was much appreciated on our return but would have been better if we had left it to cool in the stream
Vessel Name: Esprit de la mer
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau
Hailing Port: Milford Haven
Crew: Chris and Penny Bates
About:
Chris Bates is a Haverfordwest GP retiring at the end of March after 28 years at Winch Lane Surgery. Penny is a nurse in outpatients at Withybush Hospital and retires at the end of June. [...]
Extra:
Capt pictured here with his pet seagull says 'Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it is lovely to be silly at the right moment' and thinks it is far more important to find him a name so we are running a competition to find him a name and guess the miles he will have sailed by [...]
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