In the interest of broadening our horizons our crack planning team penciled in a deep thrust into the heart of the Bay of Islands. Like a spaceshot it was to be a two-stage campaign with Escape Velocity getting things started, threading the gap at Kent Passage, turning left at the Brothers, all the way up the estuary anchoring in the shallows off Walnut Island in Blacksmith’s Bay opposite a beautiful vineyard, where Cat Nip our faithful dink would take over running us Escapees all the way up the meandering, incredibly shallow creek they call the Kerikeri River. The goal was to find the Old Stone Store and perhaps a bit of shopping, assuming we could find Kerikeri.
Winding our way up the river found Your hmbl. Skpr., normally endowed with nerves of steel, quite tense due to a number of factors like the shallow river bars that needed to be crossed over, not to mention the fact that the rest of the world finds it necessary to use the wrong colors on their navigational markers, and I was pretty sure that I forgot to put enough gas in Cat Nip’s tank.
Along the way we discovered Wairua, friends’ boat, last seen in Tahiti, tied up to pilings and alone for the holidays.
With the water depth getting really thin the stately Old Stone Store and waterfall hove into view. The store is NZ’s oldest stone building dating from 1836.
Yes that’s all very nice but if I know you, Escapees, you’re asking where’s the ice cream? It turns out it’s just around the corner but the town of Kerikeri, sadly, was miles away and uphill all the way. If you want Yours Truly’s opinion we should have stayed with the ice cream. It was the kind of thing where you’re sure that it couldn’t be much farther and what would it mean if you’re going to Kerikeri but just gave up without seeing Kerikeri?
We should have just given up. It turns out that it was Sunday and most of the shops were closed. Saturday…Sunday, they’re all pretty much the same to us.
Back at the dink, feet burning, I checked the gas tank. Strictly touch and go. There would be no tip-toeing around tied-up boats this time. Cat Nip was up on plane the whole way back to EV.
Sorry Wairua, yes that was me.
One Response to Where’s the ice cream?
We were there just two years ago on a Christmas trip from Melbourne. Signed up with a kayak outfitter based up there. We paddled across some choppy open water to get to the creek, which was magical. We never saw the Old Stone store because it was on the other side of the bay. Good on you two for getting there under your own sails.