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….
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
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!
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.
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.