21 October 2020
20 October 2020
19 October 2020 | Tutira Lake
18 October 2020 | Mahia Beach
17 October 2020 | Gisbourne
14 October 2020
12 October 2020
11 October 2020 | Cambridge
10 October 2020 | Cambridge
04 October 2020 | Hen and Chickens
21 September 2020
20 September 2020 | Mimiwhangata Bay
19 September 2020 | Tutukaka
06 September 2020 | Pakiri Beach
03 September 2020 | Marsden
02 September 2020 | Marsden
30 August 2020 | Marsden
29 August 2020 | Marsden
18 August 2020 | Marsden Cove Marina
16 August 2020 | Pataua


21 October 2020
Chris Bates
Overnighted at the Wellington Top 10. It is a good clean site and convenient for an early start on the ferry. We arrived too late to go into town so just

Hastings to ?

20 October 2020
Penny Bates | Colder but still dry
We set off in the direction of Wellington this morning, many vinyards and fruit orchards. Mostly very flat so ideal for fruit growing but as the guide book says 'uncluttered with places of interest'. We did stop off at Norsewood, an old Scandinavian settlement at the foot of the Ruahine Range. The old pioneer museum was interesting and had items that were mostly older than me, which was rather good as most museums here have items that I can remember using myself such as heavy chunky telephones with a dial and switchboards with cords that you plugged into holes instead of just flicking a switch. The next village was Dannevirke (Danish settlement) but we went straight through to Woodville where we are stopping overnight. A good small site in the centre of town with very hot showers and electric hook up. The house next door has sheep in the garden and I at last managed to buy some stamps, postcards to Ollie, Rhys and Mia went off tonight. We move on tomorrow ad pass the Tui Brewery, should we stop for guided tour?

On to Hastings or somewhere in-between

19 October 2020 | Tutira Lake
Penny Bates | Dry and cloudy
The road out of the Mahia Peninsula runs along by the rail track which I think runs from Gisbourne to Napier, it is a pretty route lined with willows, pines and trees covered in lilac coloured blossom. Sheep, goats and cattle in most of the fields but some areas thickly covered in lupins (we wondered if they had once been grown as a crop on the poorer areas). Our route continued along the SH2 passing several small settlements. There are several viewing points (as usual view blocked by trees) and scenic reserves. We stopped at Lake Tutira and had a short walk and a coffee. It is a lake in recovery and there is restoration work going on in the surrounding hills, replanting and drainage to reduce the pollution in the lake, the algal bloom (after heavy rain)can cause respiratory problems and although you can fish you are advised not to eat your catch. You cannot even paddle as duck itch caused by parasites on ducks lurks in the shallows and causes a painful rash. If that is not enough it has been invaded by a weed (native to Asia) that smothers all the other vegetation and is almost impossible to eradicate. Grass Carp from China have been introduced to lake as this weed is their favourite food. One cannot help wonder if this is another disaster waiting to happen (introduction of mongoose to control snakes in Caribbean)
Arrived Hastings in time to shop and Chris had a swim in the pool I did not join him it was unheated!

Gisborne to ?

18 October 2020 | Mahia Beach
Penny Bates | Cool wind but sunny
We set out this morning after a full cooked English (had to use up the bacon and black pudding) we had programmed the GPS for Hastings but were undecided on our destination. It is a wine growing region so plenty of oportunity for tasting if you are not driving. There are also orchards behind huge pine or willow windbreaks. We stopped at Wharerata viewing point. The view at was fantastic although rather hazy and had a coffee while we admired the view. We chatted to a local truck driver who was on his way to see brother in law at Nicks Head (the headland in the photo), he recommended camping at Mahia Beach. We decided to do the detour as we were early enough to to go further if we did not like it. It was stunning, we stayed. A huge sandy beach with white cliffs at one end (like the Dover Cliffs) We had a long walk along the beach, no one else there although in season it is busy and a popular surfing beach. At sunset went down to the beach to get a photo of the dramatic sunsets lighting the white cliffs, but out of luck, we had clear blue sky all day and then just at wrong moment heavy grey cloud covered the horizon


17 October 2020 | Gisbourne
Penny Bates
Arrived last night undecided on whether to move on next day but weather forecast was good and the A & P Show (like County Show at home)was on. We were too late to make it worth going on Friday but decided we would go on Saturday. Queues to get in Just like home, a huge fairground with some hairy rides, a lovely warm sunny day but lots of people in wellies and shorts so must often be quite boggy, makes you feel quite at home. We watched sheep sheering and showjumping but other animal classes were yesterday. The horses were in open pens rather than stables so was lucky that the weather was fine. The crafts were good but displayed behind weld mesh screens, were they worried that we would run off with the exhibits?

Te Kaha

14 October 2020
Chris Bates
Weather improving so set off on route 35. We stopped off in Opotiki a pretty small town with an impressive selection of old buildings. It is the site of much conflict and after the defeat of the Maoris
Vessel Name: Esprit de la mer
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau
Hailing Port: Milford Haven
Crew: Chris and Penny Bates
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. [...]
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 [...]
Esprit de la mer's Photos - La Gomera (Main)
2 night stay
No Photos
Created 12 October 2020
No Photos
Created 7 September 2018
No Photos
Created 25 August 2018
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Created 6 July 2018
Would like to have spent longer here perhaps we can return sometime
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Created 28 March 2018
At the Waitangi Treaty Ground
No Photos
Created 12 February 2018
1 Sub-Album
Created 27 April 2015
1 Photo | 17 Sub-Albums
Created 2 August 2014
1 Photo | 54 Sub-Albums
Created 18 March 2014
126 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 August 2013
17 Photos
Created 11 June 2013
Chris's solo sail from Panama to Tahiti
10 Sub-Albums
Created 11 June 2013
1 Photo | 20 Sub-Albums
Created 22 June 2011
Summer in Canaries 2010
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 24 April 2011
Six months in Brasil
1 Photo | 22 Sub-Albums
Created 12 December 2010
Cabo Verde
20 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 31 October 2010