Day 404, Year 1: At Anchor in the Whangarei River
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2006
Weather: Blue Skies, Sunny, Temperature in the 60’s
Location: Urquarts Bay, Mouth of the Whangarei River, New Zealand

By 0700 this morning, we had pulled up anchor and were well on our way out of Whangamumu Harbor. Mark wanted to get an early start in case we did decide to make it to the Whangarei River today. After listening to the 0730 weather report, we decided that we should go for it today as the weather report for the next few days sounded uncertain. We had wind today, but it was variable. Sometimes it would blow 10 knots and the next minute 20 or 25 knots. It was behind us, so we put up our full sails. We motored sailed for part of the day, and then had a delightful sail for a few hours. We passed Whangaruru Harbor just south of where we stayed last night. We could see three or four small towns in that bay. Next we passed Tutukaka where we could see a small marina and town. But mostly we saw green hills and craggy, rocky cliffs along the shore. Finally we rounded Bream Head and found our anchorage in the mouth of the Whangarei River. It was a beautiful day and we were glad that we got to sail at least part of our last passage of the season. Tomorrow we will motor the 13 miles up the Whangarei River and will be in a slip at the Riverside Drive Marina in Whangarei by tomorrow night if all goes well. That will officially end the first cruising year in the voyage of Windbird. Wow! That doesn’t seem possible.

It feels like late fall in New England here tonight. There is a southwest wind and there is a definite chill in the wind that we haven’t had since we first arrived. The winds are supposed to turn northerly again tomorrow, so maybe that chilly edge will go away.

061126 Day 404 New Zealand–Whangarei Waterfront Tour