Whangaroa Harbour Northland New Zealand

Whangaroa: Agnes’s new home

Late in 2011 we descide to relocate our 1912 desgned Logan 33 launch from Gulf Harbour in the Hauraki Gulf to Whangaroa Harbour in order to have a mooring closer to our eventual home in Kerikeri.

We managed to secure a berth at the small community trust run marina in the Whangaroa Harbour 30 minutes drive north of KeriKeri.

The timing was tight, we took posession of the berth in early December but there was a catch, the 0 .45m swim platform (duckboard) on the stern(back) of the boat made it marginally too long for the 10.5m profile of the berth.

Our only option was to sacrafice the asthetically pleasing brass struts to the board and get it hinged, replacing the brass with flexible but uglier supports. The marina accepted the modification and next we had to get the modification completed in the short (and busy) time before our Christmas break which had been designated as the delivery window.

Thanks to Brin Wilson at Gulf Harbour who were able to slot the work into an incredibly busy pre cruising season schedule allowing us to set sail two days before Christmas into what would be one of the worst cruising seasons for long time.

We had allowed three weeks to get up the coast. Like me, Agnes does not move quickly (around 7-8knots) and a direct trip should have taken only 3-4 comfortable cruising days. In the end we needed our allocated three weeks.

The wind started to rise from the worst possible quarter on day two, accompanied by frequent squalls. Normally we would cruise with plenty of fresh air circulating but this rquired the boats to be weather tight.

A week in the boat shed allowed the caustic mix of solvent and paint fumes to permeate into the fabrics and Agnes smelt every bit like that boat shed. Coupled with a rising swell, Ruth fell victim and kept the fish fed for the next two days. By day three I was adviised

this boat is never EVER going back down this coast with me on it

Despite the fumes, the never ending rain and wind, we did find brief breaks where we could get out and stretch the legs.

Walking around Mimiwhangata Coastal Reserve, the track around Busby Head at Whangarei, the track from Oke Bay up to the Cape Brett walkway, around Moturoa and Urupukapuka Islands, the track to the end of Mahineapua Peninsula and finally the track from Lane Cove in Whangaroa Harbour. These were all spectacular and perfect antidotes to the weather woes.

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