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aspenforte last won the day on January 18 2017

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  1. Hi all, Well I finally made it to Great Barrier Island on my little Kestrel 18. It was a bit of a sper of the moment decision to go. On January 1st 2017 I weighed anchour in Islington Bay at 06:20 and headed to Great Barrier.I could always opt out and head to another destination if I felt uncomfortable with the weather. I passed Otata Island at about 09:27. I felt comfortable with the weather so continued on. I could always turn back if things changed. I could just make out a small Island which I guessed was Little Barrier. On the way I came apon a pod of about 15 odd dolphins. Not sure what type but they seemed quite small ones.A couple swam in my bow wave for a while but I was going in the opposite direction and not moving very fast, so they headed back to the pod. Still quit nice to have them with me for even a short time. The wind did come up and at one time I was down to a storm jib and one reef in the main. The wind did vary strength but never got above 20Kts and I eventually settled for the jib and two reefs in the main. Nice and comfortable. The swell got up to about half a meter as predicted, but ever 6th and 7th swell would be about 2meters but the Kestrel just bobed over them like a cork. No problems. With the northerly wind the highest I could point was to make Mangati Bay so at 19:39 I anchoured there for the night tucked right up in the bay. I knew about the mosquitos, but they were unbelievable. Insect repalant didn't work. But I did get some sleep. Next morning I headed to Port Fritzroy and had a great couple of weeks there despite the strong winds. Lots of boats over for the holidays. I had a relaxing time and really enjoyed myself. I Headed back on Saturday 14th. I weighed anchour at 05:32 and headed out of Oneura Bay, but the wind was still a little strong so I returned and waited a couple of hours. At 07:13 I headed out again and I was comfortable with the wind strength so headed to Islington Bay. At times the wind died to nothing so I did motor quite a bit on the way back. I dropped anchour in Islington Bay at 20:52. A great sail and a great time at Great Barrier. I am looking forward to doing the trip again, but if possible I will try for a slightly bigger yacht. Definitely worth the effort. A great way to start the New Year. Thanks guys for all your help. Mark
  2. When I was at happy jack, I couldn't see any elephants but happy jack was very obvious.
  3. Hi All, Unfortunately I did not get to Great Barrier Island this year. I took the Kestrel out a week before I had planned to leave for Great Barrier Island and the outboard motor packed up, so I decided not to risk going to Great Barrier Island without a motor. Instead I have just returned from spending three weeks over at Coromandel. I had a great time and went as far north as Happy jack and Waiaro Cove. With a south westerly breeze I was not able to stay overnight at Happy Jacks. The day I went to Waiaro Cove it was low tide (as planned), so I anchoured off the beach and rowed the optimist (which I used as a tender) in. An interesting little cove, an overhanging tree might stop me from getting the Kestrel in at high tide. I had a great time and with hind sight I probably could have made Great Barrier Island without a motor, but there is always next year. Thanks to all the comments. Mark
  4. Thanks KM and JB. Your replies have settled the decision (not that it needed settling); I will be going to Great Barrier Island this summer. Now to get everything ready. I went to Coromandel and Te Kouma last February. It was supposedly blowing a 20-knot westerly on the way over and the Kestrel handled it great. A 28/30 ft keeler came past with just its jib up. So I have confidence in the little boat, but I will still watch my weather, as I am very flexible with my times and I am there to have fun . Thanks
  5. Hi everyone, I have a kestrel 18ft trailer sailer and I am thinking of sailing over to Great Barrier Island this summer for a couple or three weeks. Obviously I will have to pick my weather window sailing there and back, but once there I should be reasonably safe in Port Fitzroy, so long as I watch the weather. Is there water available on the Island and where and is it safe to drink? What are the must see places? Any places to stay away from, for whatever reason? Is it safe to leave a dingy on the beach while you are away tramping some of the tracks (I may or may not take my dingy with me)? What is the cell phone and VHF coverage like? How busy will it be? I was talking to a guy from Doyle’s when I picked up my new sails and he said it could get very crowded there. I am planning to go about February or March. What are good anchouring places etc? Any other ideas or information would be appreciated. I have a copy of RAYC Coastal Cruising Handbook, which has given me a lot of information, but it is an old version and I may have to update it. Are there any other books that might be handy? Thanks. Mark
  6. I follow Dylan regularly and really enjoy his down to earth approach and how he doesn't try to hide anything, ie when he runs aground he admits it (sometime deliberate and some times not) He admits he is just and ordinary bloke who makes mistakes, but he is at least out there enjoying himself. I don't necessarily agree with him all the time, but at times it does make me think. He has inspired me to get back into yachting and I now regularly cruise in an 18 foot kestrel trailer sailer. It would be great to sail around New Zealand like he is sailing around Great Britain, but I have settled to trailering my yacht to lakes and harbours and spending a couple of weeks at each place (I think the west coast would be just too dangerous for such a small yacht. (LOL)). I also enjoy paddling up rivers in an old kayak when I get the chance. But that duck punt of his is sure looking interesting (sailing instead of paddling Hmm!!).
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