Whangarei –Nelson (NZL)
“How I’ve missed this”, Ivar says with a big smile on his face as he steers Luci out of Whangarei Harbour. We’re sailing again for the first time in 10 months. The weather is doing its utmost to make our first leg to the Bay of Islands a pleasant sea trial. With many borders around us still closed, we have decided to sail around Aotearoa New Zealand. From the very north (Cape Reinga) to the very south (Stewart Island), there is a lot of coastline to explore. We’re very excited to leave the shore life we led these past months behind and be guided by the wind again, just like our famous countryman Abel Tasman four centuries ago.
A Good Start
Luci is in her element again. She shows off her new paint, clean hull, and the features we have added in Whangarei, most notably the new electronic autopilot. It is keeping her firmly on course, so the crew can take a break from steering. The new hydraulic system proves to be quite energy efficient. So much so, that we give Herbie, our wind vane, the day off.
We reach the protected anchorage of Urupukapuka Island just in time before the weather turns nasty. Floris is in heaven when he handles the new anchor chain. No more rusty bits on deck, which was always the case with the old chain. The added length (100 meters) also takes away any worries about water depth. While the wind blows through Luci’s new rigging, we sleep like babies knowing we have more than enough chain out. The next morning, the sky is still grey and a drizzle dampens our moods. But that quickly changes when we spot a pod of orcas. How magical! We watch in awe as the pod – a male with a huge fin and about six females and youngsters – swim by. It’s the first time we see any during our trip, and we certainly didn’t expect to see them at an anchorage.