I spent some time for rest in Opua. I also fixed the broken tiller bolt and replaced the broken latch spring on the self steering and bought a new dinghy as my old one was truely on its last legs. I dug out the bike and rode the twin coast cycle way to Kawakawa and back.
I also walked along the coast path to Pahai,
went to the thermal pools with Rusty John and also to an open mic night at the Russel boat club. I thought then it was time for more cruising and explore the Bay of islands.
My first stop was Opunga cove, a nice place to relax. Then to Robinson bay, Motuarohia island. A very popular spot this with a nice walk up to an old Fortified Pa on the hilltop. Captain Cook had beat me to this place too and had a notable meetings with the Maori here.
On to Pipi bay, Moturua island, this is a Department of Conservation island. They made strenous efforts to rid the island of all introduced pests, rats, possums and stoats and the bird life has recovered helped by re-introductions. There is a good walking track on the island which I took. Nice to to get a bit of a leg stretch.
The weather turned into strong SW winds of 25 – 30 knots so I moved across to Putakokota bay which was more sheltered but moved later as the wind seemed to be swirling around the headland and I moved a few miles to Parekura bay which offered better shelter.
By next morning the wind had died so I sailed across to Indigo bay Urupukapuka Island. Somewhat confusingly places often have multiple names. This bay is variously called Indigo bay, Otaia bay or Entico bay, take your pick I guess. Another DOC island again with several good walking tracks, I took the Cliff Pa loop and the Pateke loop tracks, very nice too with good views.
I didn’t stop in this bay overnight as the weather forecast predicted a wind shift to NW and strong winds so I moved to Orakawa bay and sheltered here from the blow.
Time to restock on supplies so I anchored off Pahai .Rowed ashore and walked to the supermarket to restock and buy some xmas goodies like a xmas cake, xmas pudding, mince pies and some wine. Pahai is not a good anchorage as its is far too rolly with all the wash from the ferries and sight seeing boats so shopping done I moved across to Pomare bay. It was pretty blowy for the next couple of days so I just stayed here.