It was overcast and drizzling a little when we said farewell to Charlie and Pauline and dropped the lines at Marsden Cove. The outgoing tide gave us an extra 2 knots as we passed the harbour entrance and Bream Bay was calm (yippee!!) The rain cleared shortly after and we had a nice run towards Kawau, with a light W and low swell. The wind picked up to around 15 knots as we passed Bream Tail but the sea remained comfortable for a change. As we approached Cape Rodney we ran into a family of dolphins that frolicked and jumped in front of, and under, the bow of the boat for about 20 minutes before returning to whatever they were doing before we came by.
The next day was a stunner. Clear and sunny sky and hardly a breath of wind with forecast for variable 5 knots, turning to SW15 in the afternoon. We departed at 11.30 and crossed Kawau Bay in millpond conditions although there were dozens of boats out fishing who always seemed to be in the middle of my plotted course. Just off Tiri passage we ran into a huge pod of dolphins and a bunch of them decided to come and frolic around us, just as they had the day before.
Once through Tiri Passage, the wind swung to SW and picked up a little so we changed our original plan of staying at Rakino Island and headed for Oneroa instead. By the time we got there, the wind was up to 25 knots again, but Oneroa is well sheltered and there were already more than 200 boats in the Bay. Despite the number of boats, the bay was quiet that night with very little partying going on (around us, anyway).
The forecast for the next day, our last for this voyage, was for light SW winds, turning E 25 in the late afternoon and getting stronger over the next 3 days. Accordingly we decided to get away early and beat the rush and the wind back to our marina (which had changed its name from Westpark to Hobsonville marina while we were away). We had a slow trip back against a strong outgoing tide and a lot of outbound traffic that we had to zigzag through. We arrived back just after midday and stayed on the boat overnight to catch up on the gossip with some of our G pier cronies. They weren't wrong with the weather forecast - by the time we left the following day to go home, it was blowing like mad and stayed like that for the next 2 weeks.
Like I said earlier in the blog. 590 NM, 87 engine hours and 7 weeks of one of the windiest summers I can recall boating in....but a pleasant and satisfying holiday all the same.
That's all for now folks...catch you next time