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Nzgrant

Heading North to go South

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We went around the top to Wellington about 3 weeks ago probably 5 miles off and in pretty mild conditions. Spent one night anchored near parengarenga harbour and then left early with light sw winds dropping to calms. Ended up motoring from about ahipara to New Plymouth. A few days later we would have had good northerlies but we didn’t want to wait.

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 Kaipara is worth a visit if you have the time and the swell is around 1m + -  incoming tide is the go, The channel (maybe a K wide) and is around 4 miles + - to the North paralell to the beach between the outer sand bar and the beach just watch for "sweepers" on the way in, they come in 3's and are reasonably steep, turn into them and then go back on course after the 3rd one. Once you are past the initial sandy lumps at the start, they are generally breaking so they are quite visible for you to thread your way through, it is like a large river, we were doing 11 knots with the tide and wind. NZ charts have recently been updated.  Whangape is interesting as well, a lot simpler than the Kaipara, keep to Stb once across the bar on the way in until you are in the "fiord" No 1 eyeball is important!!  Call up Kaipara coastguard if you do come in, but remember to contact them once you are in, otherwise they are likely to get cross!

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If you want to be bored you should find a couple of videos of the trip on YouTube look for wharram tiki 38 delivery but be warned its not flash

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq0PlmVQ0n0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PxAeo5N-9s

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If I can get myself organised I plan on going from Raglan over the top to the BOP this summer. Maybe no big thing for a lot of you guys but big for me. One thing I was thinking about was communications. looking at coastguard VHF coverage its non existent a lot of the way. But maritime NZ coverage looks really good, they must have powerful transmitters but often quite inland.  They say it can be blocked by cliffs/hills if in close but out a bit OK most of the way. My wife will be at home and if she doesn't hear from me once a day starts to get silly. Mob phone would be pretty useless but if I did a TR with maritime NZ she could ring them although its not really their role I guess.I did see a Sat phone on Trade me for $500 but to operate it for a month would be $300 or something so that doesn't appeal. . So what is peoples experience with VHF for forecasts etc  around the Top. 

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