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Did this last year, end of March from memory 

lessons learnt-

you need settled weather and time, then you can still get caught out so need to be prepared and flexible 

like diving in an aquarium but clearer, huge tidal flows and drop offs 

we only spent one night on anchor in NW Bay, flat water no wind in 15m water, less than 100m off the cliffs, then the tide turned at 1am and the roll from hell arrived. Still no wind so we swung from beam on ( couldn’t stay in bunk ) to bow on where you would almost drop off to sleep, then swing back to beam on.there was a 60 or 70+ foot game fishing launch that was dipping its game poles side to side which made us feel a bit better.

but well worth the trip as great cruising from east to west coast around North Cape and down past Cape Maria Van Demon and a day trip and overnight return is a very real option out to the Kings if needed.

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You can cook perfect sausages at anchor!  The roll keeps them moving so they never burn!

Seriously thou... its a fantastic place to visit. I think I'm up to 6 trips now. But as Jon says it's best to have plenty of time. Base yourself around the top of NZ and when a good weather window arrives grab it... also get out again before it turns nasty. Having said that all my trips have been pretty good... but my second time up there I was on Te Ariki Nui and on arrival it took us an hour to untangle the anchor chain... on their previous trip hour they had copped a pounding and the anchor chain had been thrown around in the bow so much it was all knotted up!

Fishing is unreal...

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Never been but a mate goes diving/fishing there most years in a launch. They are a bunch of very experienced offshore sailors and professional mariners,  they only head up late summer in a very good window. One run from Ak and spend 3-5 days there. Feedback is unreal fishing, cold water and definitely need a good boatman if diving, big current, big biteys, big everything. 

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I did a dive trip up there quite a few years ago which included diving for coins from the Elingamite in 40M which we did recover some (plus a couple of minor souvenirs -virtually nothing left of the wreck now)-generally the diving is challenging with some big rips -one needs to have a good boatman and safety gear and plan carefully but some good diving. Only place I have seen hapuka in 15m !

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