Saturday, 23 April 2016

Opua to Great Barrier - Big Kingfish, Bigger Orcas and a Nice Spinnaker Passage.

Fluenta waited patiently for on her mooring in Russel while we went off on our road trip.  On our return we moved to Opua for a few days to do a bit of maintenance (new alternators and regulator plus our long awaited rain enclosure - very nice).

We had a nice day sail into the Bay of Islands where we anchored in the same spot as over Christmas. This time however we mostly had it to ourselves.  There was some sort of photo shoot with two models on boards (which was pretty funny as they were not very comfortable on the boards) and then we had the place to ourselves.

The next day we had a nice light air sail mostly under spinnaker to meet up with Nirvana and Vareke on Great Barrier Island.  Not only did we have a nice overnight sail but on setting the anchor a pod of orcas came over to welcome us.  Despite being a bit foggy headed from the overnight trip, Gary, Nigel and I headed out soon after the anchor was down to go spearfishing.  A successful trip as all three of us shot fish - two nice kingfish for Gary and I and Nigel got a fish even though it was his first ever spearfishing trip.

The trip was also a great trial for our new rain enclosure especially sailing from Great Barrier to Auckland with the wind in the mid-20kts and rain.

Anchor chain markings ready for another season

Models doing a photo shoot.  I suspected they did not want me paddling over on my board. They had multiple video and still cameras plus the obligatory drone.

The anchorage to ourselves.  A bit different than at Christmas

A lovely spinnaker sail to Great Barrier Island

Dinner on Nirvana at Great Barrier.

My first kingfish. Gary estimated it weighed about 60 pounds.  We ate very well ...  

Orcas welcoming us into the anchorage as I set the snubber.

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