I’m like the sundial that says “Count none but the sunny hours.” You won’t find me with a smile on my face curled up with book and steaming tea on a rainy day. I’m the guy that paces back and forth like something feral as if there’s nothing on earth to do even though you Escapees know there’s plenty to do but I just can’t concentrate.
We finally made it to Macushla for a wonderful New Year’s celebratory evening, two days late, and even then we were in full foulies head to toe through driving rain, chop, and spray just to get to Sue and Mark’s boat a couple of hundred meters down harbor from Escape Velocity. It was a great evening but the return in the dark wind and rain was challenging but somehow fun, it’s kind of a thrill when you realize you’re about to do something stupid but you are going to do it anyway.
The sun came up the following morning, the wind abated somewhat, Macushla headed south but we wanted to explore Rere Bay at the entrance to Whargaroa Bay even though more heavy weather was again on its way. Anchor down tucked in beautiful Rere Bay, bathed in sunshine I suggested a sunset cruise up a meandering river I’d noticed on the chart at the head of Rere Bay marked only with “Mangrove.”
Cautiously we carved our way around the meandering curves upriver and after a while, rounding a turn revealed a double waterfall from an amazing height on the ridge high above us. Each turn brought us closer until the outboard chunk-chunked on the gravel bottom. I turned the the engine off and we drifted, listening to the distant roar of the waterfall. Pure magic.
After a quick tour of a couple of boat-only accessible lodges in the lower bay, we toasted the setting sun knowing that an early departure for Doubtless Bay — named after Captain Cook in passing was said to quip,”there’s doubtless a large bay there,” no kidding — due to more heavy weather coming in.
We were punching our way northwest up the coast to Doubtless Bay by 08:00. We had dreams of having a nice relaxing sail but with little breeze and what little we had was, all together now, on the nose, we motor sailed until we turned down into Doubtless Bay where we could just sail and turn off the engine. But just before we entered Mangonui Harbor we were swarmed by a sailboat race. If this has ever happened to you, you know what I’m talking about. Madness. Boats were everywhere, all trying to derive some advantage from a moving road block. These kiwis go pretty fast up wind.
Finally, with our anchor down we dropped Cat Nip and dinghied into Mangonui, but without fail the wind began to pick up, the sun clouded over so exploring this cute little town would have to wait, maybe for several days.
There are rumors that the best chippie joint in NZ is on the waterfront. We struck out for EV through the wind, rain, and the spray to wait out the forecast bad weather. I’ll have to watch from EV, pace when I can, and count none but the sunny hours.