Tuesday 18th April 2017
Friday night we were treated to a spectacular moonrise, the sight made even more amazing by our not so spectacular surroundings. Okowawa Bay had served us well, protecting us from the wind and rough seas associated with Cyclone Cook, high hills roll into the distance, dark water, that will be one of my lasting memories of New Zealand, surrounded us and just four yachts sat at anchor. Rick was keen to get stuck into the generator, despite all the work that has been done on it over the past few months it still had a fuel starvation issue that irritatingly stopped it regually every couple of day, the flat calm of this bay was a perfect place to tackle it. My job for the day was to delve deep into all the provision lockers to find out what exactly we had lurking in their depths and then put together the big “still have access to good supermarkets” shopping list to stock up for the next few months.
As we worked we were aware of boats arriving and were surprised at the amount of activity around us. It dawned on us this was not any old Friday it was Easter Friday. Families were arriving by boat to fill the holiday homes (Bachs) that line the bay, numerous bags were unloaded, children skipped excitedly up the beach, quad bikes, ribs and paddle boards appeared out of garages. When we emerged for morning coffee we saw a sea plane landing, one couple were arriving in style.
Slowly but surely the bay filled with boats and by the end of the day at least thirty vessels were crowded together. Shrieks of enjoyment, jet skis and dingies whizzing around, BBQ’s giving off delicious smells, everyone enjoying their time off, as we worked below we felt out of place, a bit like we had come to a funfare to mend the car.
Night fell, lights and chatter filled the bay, the songs of Queen drifted on the air from one of the parties ashore. We sat on deck trying to ignore our neighbours, when we noticed a bright haze of light appearing behind the hill. We were treated, to a dazzling, sharply defined, moonrise. As we gasped at yet another marvellous natural event it felt wrong that nobody else was watching it, the partying continued, it was if it was rising just for us.
The next the morning we moved out to Oke Bay, a bit of ocean swell was creeping in from the open water beyond, which made it a bit rolly but the lack of crowds, clear sea and lovely beach made it worth the slight discomfort. That was until we tried to get some sleep, at two in the morning and still awake we weren’t so sure. However, we looked around, the rain of the past week had created a small waterfall, a favourite large tree, its bent gnarly branches covered in a distinctive bark hung over the beach, the familiar dominating cliffs and a chilly swim to shake off our grogginess, Oke Bay still comes out top.
And so our cruising in New Zealand has come to an end, this morning we came back into the marina in Opua. Provisioning, last minute maintainance ( fingers crossed the generator is fixed),cruiser gatherings, the preparations for the exodus to the tropics begins.