Wednesday 8th March 2017
Torrential rain pours down on us, high winds swirl us around our mooring bouy, hail, thunder, lightening, we’ve had it all. What is it with the weather in New Zealand. I can’t help thinking we aren’t seeing the best of the islands. We have picked a safe spot to sit out the weather, deep inside Port Fitzroy protected from the worst of the wind and swell by surrounding headlands and islands. The highest recorded gust we have had has been 30kts, the water is reasonably calm, I have just picked up a storm warning for the area , released a couple of hours ago, 50 gusting 60kts, with a 3m swell, so we grin and bear it here in relative safety.
Sunday after a drizzly six hour crossing we arrived at Great Barrier island to a clearing sky. We were in a pretty bay – Overlook Bay, overlooked by a huge wedge of granite 200m above us, Mount Overlook. We settled down to relax in the sunshine, Peter with his fishing rod in hand, not only caught supper he cooked it for us too. Sautéd snapper delicious.
The next morning we lowered the freshly pumped up dingy into the water for the first time in four months, amazingly the engine started first time. Unfortunately the control cable that changes the gears had seized, we managed an exploratory trip around the bay but eventually it broke. With no engine on the dingy we are stuck onboard unless we are happy to paddle it, no easy task. So Rick set to work and cleverly rigged a system that gives us forward and reverse but no neutral. We can get to shore ok but parking is very interesting.
Anticipating the change in the weather we motored around the corner to the protection of Port Fitzroy. Tuesday dawned extremely calm, calm before the storm. We ventured into the wharf and up the road to the small shop. There was a pleasant, sleepy ambiance to the place, the shop 200m up the one road from the dock and a bit further on a small bar/ restaurant, unfortunately only open Wednesday to Saturday, a few huts and a couple of houses hidden in the wooded hillside. We enquired of the shop keeper as to the best place to hide from the incoming easterlies, he very generously offered us his mooring bouy tucked under the eastern side of the inlet.
So that is where we are now, stuck below, anchor alarm on, hourly checking the forecast for some let up. Currently the wind is due to drop in the next 24 hrs but the rain looks like it could stay around for the next four or five days. Joy!