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!


Hooked our first Kahwai!

Hooked our first Kahwai!

QUIXOTIC in fish fighting mode!

QUIXOTIC in fish fighting mode!




  1. February 25, 2017    

    Beautiful, glad you are out there away from boat work ! Congrats on the fish,
    SKABENGA LURES puts dinner on the table every time !!!

  2. Haebs's Gravatar Haebs
    February 25, 2017    


  3. Pamela Fives's Gravatar Pamela Fives
    February 25, 2017    

    Hi Kids… Love the pictures and information… You have a great trip and we will keep in touch. I love you… GrandmaMama

  4. Felipe Ferraz's Gravatar Felipe Ferraz
    February 26, 2017    

    How lovely! Thanks for sharing your adventure highlights!

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