Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A long weekend of sailing

This is what summer is all about - long weekends where we get to go and truly feel like we are on an adventure just a stone throw away from home, and yet so far away. It also feels like we were away for a billion years even though it was only 2 nights. Maybe part of the reason for that is because the weekend wasn't exactly smooth sailing, so to speak. The weather wasn't that great. It was OK at times, but definitely windy, damp and cold. No matter, we made the most of it and it was well worth the effort.

We left the marina just after lunch on Saturday and headed out to Rakino Island. We were heading straight into the wind with rough seas, and with having to manage Kien's sea sickness and me feeling queazy as well, Jef pretty much had to sail us there solo. He loved it!

We anchored up in Fowlhouse Bay on Saturday night, and we were rocking and rolling all through the night with the swell and the wind. I think that was the bumpiest night I've ever had on a boat. I didn't sleep so well, but Kien slept like a log, and he woke up early and was bubbling full of energy. So I took him for a paddle.

We headed out to the Three Sisters, and paddled around looking at the oysters and the oyster catchers with their bright beaks scurrying around in the rain. Kien begged me to go ashore, so I found a patch that was safe enough to bring the kayak in. We looked for crabs, and chased some oyster catchers. Kien wanted to go to other beaches, but by then the rain was falling hard and the wind was howling through the bay so I decided to head back to the boat.

We hung around and had some lunch while still debating whether to stay put or try finding somewhere else more sheltered. The wind was going to swing around in the opposite direction, and then there was the swell that was going to be in the opposite direction of the wind - so lots to consider.

Jef decided to up anchor and sail over to Motutapu Island. It took us no time at all to get to Station Bay. There were only a few boats tucked into the bay on one side, and no one on the other side so that's where we anchored. After settling in it was Jef's turn to go for a paddle in the rain.

The rain cleared, and as it got closer to dusk the bay filled up. It was good to have been the first to get into our comfortable little spot where we were quite sheltered.

We had a surprisingly calm(er) night without too much rocking. I had a decent sleep despite being woken up by Kien a number of times during the night. The following morning all the other boats started clearing out early. We made the most of the sunshine by going ashore. We had a great time with the place to ourselves.

Kien loves exploring the rocks and looking for sea creatures.

We clambered over to the next bay along to see what else we could find.

I love finding rock pools that are undisturbed with interesting creatures lurking inside.

They also make great little paddling pools - so warm.

Whenever we find a pool we just have got get in and explore.

It was so magical being here by ourselves. It really does feel like we are on a deserted island on a journey of discovery.

We hung around for a bit longer and left it quite late before heading back to the city. The wind was howling and gusting 30-35 knots, and the sea was rough. It was a slow slog getting back, but we finally made it just before dark.

Last night we went to the boat for dinner while Jef did a bit of maintenance. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living here in the City of Sails, with all that it has to offer pretty much at our doorstep.

I also must not forget we are very lucky to have all that we've got to have these experiences. Sometimes it is very easy to lose sight of the reasons we do what we do. Anyway, I'll save those thoughts for another post when I'm feeling particularly introspective :-)


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