We're anchored in the small bay below. Tucked behind a massive rock wall!

Hiking the Duke’s Nose! – Whangaroa, NZ

Pictures below from an epic hike today to the top of the “Duke’s Nose.” We had to use a chain that was bolted into the rock face to climb the last 100 feet to the top but check out the amazing views we were rewarded with!  

We keep trying to switch gears and work on our project list that is literally staring us in the face…..but when the weather is amazing, fishing epic and hiking spectacular it’s REALLY hard to get motivated…  Maybe tomorrow….

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We're anchored in the small bay below. Tucked behind a massive rock wall!
We’re anchored in the small bay below. Tucked behind a massive rock wall!
Spot the face and nose on the peak behind! Called the "Duke's Nose" We'll hike to the top!

Amazing Hidden Bay and Sailing into Whangaroa Harbour

Sometimes you duck into a bay you found on the chart and strike out, other times you find a hidden gem and make lasting friends, we found the latter.  A kayak, a hike, a visit ashore and aboard QUIXOTIC, and an amazing dinner celebration that lasted all night. This morning we pulled anchor and waved goodbye to our new friends and made our way to Whangaroa Harbor, with a fresh kingfish in tow! Check out the pics below to see how amazing this place is. The Duke’s nose is awesome and we plan to hike it this week. Stay tuned. Cheers

Anchored in a spectacular bay! Can't name it though because we were sworn to secrecy by the owners who we are proud to call our new friends!
Anchored in a spectacular bay! Can’t name it though because we were sworn to secrecy by the owners who we are proud to call our new friends!

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If we had a house in NZ this would be the site!
If we had a house in NZ this would be the site!
Gorgeous coastline
Gorgeous coastline
Entering Whangaroa Harbor
Entering Whangaroa Harbor
Whangaroa Harbor
Whangaroa Harbor
Spot the face and nose on the peak behind! Called the "Duke's Nose" We'll hike to the top!
Spot the face and nose on the peak behind! Called the “Duke’s Nose” We’ll hike to the top!
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Lost Pictures from Visits with the Pirates and with MamaRina!!

Going through our camera and realized we hadn’t uploaded pics from the great times we had a couple weeks ago with Bruce (SKABENGA), Glenn & Debbie (BEACH ACCESS), Chris & Lila (PRIVATEER) and of the awesome visit with MamaRina (FYFM), Alyssa’s Mom. We had a blast with you all!  Thanks Bruce for the help running those engine wires! Glenn for the epic margaritas! Rina for hauling boat parts, for all the birthday fun and the great visit!  And congrats to Chris and Lila on the newborn baby boy!  Here are some pics of the visits and of the mandatory party that ensued when tres Pirates get together!

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Hooked our first Kahwai!

A Perfect Day in the Cavalli Islands, New Zealand

We woke to a subtle motion at anchor off the town of Russell. Tired from a great evening with good friends but the excitement and anticipation for the day ahead wakes me. The bay was engulfed in a thick layer of fog and the sun had yet to grace us with its presence. We fired up the new engines, lifted the anchor and motored out into the grey morning. Alyssa prepared breakfast while I rigged the fishing gear and set two Skabenga squid lures out on the end of the lines. I dodged weekend fishing traffic as we motored over long rolling swells towards open water; we were headed for the Cavalli Islands, a three hour sail north. As we rounded the sentinel rock that guards the north entrance to the Bay of Islands the reel went screaming and we fought in a fat skippy tuna!  It would be the first of five fish we would catch on the way to the islands including a nice fat Kahwai upon our arrival in the islands.

We dropped the hook in 18 feet of turquoise water over sand behind a long crescent bay with a beautiful beach completely made up of polished river rocks. By this time the sun was out in full force so we applied the sun screen, donned wide brim hats, launched the kayak and set off for shore. We hiked an hour and a half to the very top of Motukawanui Island and enjoyed a spectacular 360 degree view from the open ocean, waves crashing on rocky pinnacles, white sand beaches fronted by turquoise water, lush green islands and the mainland behind us, covered in pine trees and green rolling hills. The sea breeze kicked in as if on cue and cooled us off before making our way back down the mountain to the beach.  We spent some time sitting on the pebbles soaking in the natural beauty and peaceful isolation that come with having the entire bay to yourself. We leisurely peddled the kayak back to QUIXOTIC and I passed out on the nets while Alyssa prepared lunch. The weather is perfect with the sun on you and the slight sea breeze its heavenly. We both had smiles on our faces as we enjoyed lunch on the bow nets while listening to the waves crash on shore. It sure feels good to finally enjoy the boat we have worked so hard on over the past year. The work is far from over but today we’re taking a much-needed lay day.

The agenda this afternoon is equally brutal. I see hot showers, a hammock, a gorgeous sunset and a delicious fresh-caught dinner in our future so time to sign off.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Cheers from the Cavalli Islands!

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Hooked our first Kahwai!
Hooked our first Kahwai!
QUIXOTIC in fish fighting mode!
QUIXOTIC in fish fighting mode!

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Turning our backs on the old stubborn blocks and looking towards the future!

Repower Complete! New Engines in!

Engines are in and repower complete! The past week has been non-stop hard work for both of us but it has finally paid off and we’re out enjoying the amazing new engines and running them hard to properly break them in. We came out on the slipway (railway) for four days and used our boom crane to pull the old engines and lower in the new ones. We have brand new saildrives and every single hose going into or out of the engines is brand new. We even ran all new fuel lines and put in a new filtration system at the tank. I’ll let the pictures below tell the story. Look for an video in the next day or two of our first trial run and tour of the beautiful new engines!
We’re headed to the Waitangi Day celebrations today to soak in some Kiwi culture. It’s a big deal as this is where the treaty between the local Maori tribes and the British Crown was signed back in 1840. Dances. war canoes, band performances, marches, food and fun. 
Cheers from aboard the refit QUIXOTIC!
Hauling out on just the keels was a stressful experience!
Hauling out on just the keels was a stressful experience!
The hull was completely covered in barnacles despite having 6 month new Micron 66 on the bottom
The hull was completely covered in barnacles despite having 6 month new Micron 66 on the bottom
Signing for the new engines!
Signing for the new engines!
They're here!
They’re here!
The tractor brought them right below QUIXOTIC and within reach of our boom crane
The tractor brought them right below QUIXOTIC and within reach of our boom crane

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Out with the old!
Out with the old!
Our boom crane coming in extremely handy
Our boom crane coming in extremely handy
Engine room sans engine and saildrive
Engine room sans engine and saildrive
oooooo, ahhhhh, new saildrives!
oooooo, ahhhhh, new saildrives!
First glance at the new engines
First glance at the new engines
How often so you get to sit between 4 Yanamr engines!
How often so you get to sit between 4 Yanamr engines!
Turning our backs on the old stubborn blocks and looking towards the future!
Turning our backs on the old stubborn blocks and looking towards the future!
Chris from Privateer helping guide the new engine in
Chris from Privateer helping guide the new engine in
Guiding the new block down into the starboard engine room
Guiding the new block down into the starboard engine room
Mermaid and her art projects
Mermaid and her art projects
New engine bolted down and ready for wiring and hoses
New engine bolted down and ready for wiring and hoses
The cradle we came out on. It was a railway
The cradle we came out on. It was a railway
Balanced perfectly on her keel alone
Balanced perfectly on her keel alone

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View from the new dinghy as QUIXOTIC is lowered back into the water
View from the new dinghy as QUIXOTIC is lowered back into the water
Strapped dinghy's to the side to guide her back into her slip for final prep before firing the new engines up
Strapped dinghy’s to the side to guide her back into her slip for final prep before firing the new engines up
New starboard engine hooked up and ready for service
New starboard engine hooked up and ready for service
New port engine hooked up and ready for service
New port engine hooked up and ready for service