Day 403, Year 1: Opua to Whangamumu (fon-ga-moomoo)
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2006
Weather: Blue Skies, Sunny, Temperature in the Low 70’s
Location: Enroute from Opua to Whangarei, New Zealand

After listening to the morning weather report and going to shore to say farewell to some good friends, we left Opua around 10 am. When we arrived in Opua ten days ago, it was cloudy, rainy, cool, and windy. Today it was sunny and warm with very little wind. All of the islands that were only shadows when we entered came to life in living color today. There was not enough wind to sail, but we motor sailed quite comfortably. It took about two hours to get out to Cape Brett and make the turn south toward Whangarei. Just off Cape Brett is an island with an arch that small boats can go through. Locally, this is referred to as the “hole in the wall” and we enjoyed seeing it up close as we rounded the Cape.

Our destination today was going to be weather dependent. If there had been good wind, we would have gone further south. But since there was not, we stopped just south of Cape Brett in Whangamumu Harbor. There was only one other boat when we arrived, but tonight there are four of us tucked into this snug anchorage. The area is totally uninhabited and is quite beautiful. We rowed the dinghy to shore late this afternoon to see the ruins of a whaling station. The people who ran this station actually caught the whales in nets strung between huge rocks just offshore. What is left is quickly being assimilated into the environment. The huge steel tanks are rusting away, and the concrete basins are filling with soil and water and will eventually erode away.

Our destination tomorrow will depend on the weather. If there is good wind, we will probably sail all the way to the Whangarei River and anchor at the mouth for the night. If there is little wind, we might go about 20 miles south of here to a harbor named Whangaruru. It is nice to have the time to just go where the winds blow us.

061125 Day 403 New Zealand–Whangamumu to Whangarei River
Day 404, Year 1: At Anchor in the Whangarei River
Day 402, Year 1: The Quaint Town of Russell