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aspenforte

Kestrel 18 cruise to Great Barrier Island

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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

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I was last in Barrier as a fourteen year old. At the time it was easy to jog from the summit all the way back to kairara(?) bay. 30 years on, I'm not sure I could even walk to the top!

 

I remember there were several kauri dams, which at my age were fascinating.

 

It took us two full days to get there, sailing in a 60 foot Woollacott schooner. I can still remember my (non sailing) dad crash gybing us right on daybreak. And I still had to do my school work  :cry:

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