Cruising NorthlandDated: 09/12/07
Our planned few months in the boat yard soon stretched to a year. It was a year of hard work preparing Mai Tai for several more years of live-aboard cruising. We are going be heading south to the notorious Southern Ocean, around Stewart Island, the southern-most island of New Zealand. Conditions can be cold, wild and unpredictable so we want to be sure that we and Mai Tai are ready.
It was already July when we finally set sail for Great Barrier Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, 40 miles away.
Mai Tai was free at last and felt so in-tune with the sea, obviously enjoying doing what she does best - sail.
We were off and happy to be sailing again.
The rest of the winter we spent cruising the Northland coast, from Whangarei to the Whangaroa harbour. We explored many bays, harbours and coves, often the only boat there, and were able to just immerse ourselves in the magnificent scenery about us.
We met many wonderful people in the local communities and explored numerous hiking tracks.
When winter tried to throw us a storm there was always somewhere for us to "hunker" down safely and enjoy our home comforts. I think the hard dodger and canvas cockpit enclosure were the most appreciated. And the heater.
We now need to head south again to Auckland but we will definitely be back to this "winterless" north.