It’s about 45 sea miles from Waiheke Island to Great Barrier Island with light winds predicted. Lucky for us it was the end of daylight savings time so we gained an hour and were underway by 7am.  

 Our light breeze was beautiful, if a little too close to the direction we were heading, but nevertheless we sailed well with our newly sanded bottom and lightened load. As an additional bonus the sun came out and we reveled in the kind of perfect day on the water all sailors dream about.  

 By early afternoon our wind picked up, then a squall materialized over Little Barrier Island and we reefed the mainsail down a notch just in case. It amounted to nothing but did take the sun away and by the time we dropped all sail and motored toward the tiny Man o’ War Passage it was starting to feel gloomy again, like so many of our days in New Zealand. 

We poked our way slowly through the narrow gap into a wide bay with a half dozen possibilities for an overnight stay. A few places seemed full of boats and we wanted to be on our own and in a quiet place after four days of constant ferry wakes and a bang in the night. Plus, for the first time in a while we were facing west and the possibility of a sunset view at anchor lead us to drive around for a half hour testing the depth vs. view quotient until finally we dropped the hook between two islets with a view of the pass to the west.  

Drinks in hand, sweaters on against gathering damp, we drank in the peace and quiet. On deck the only manmade sound was the slight rattle of our solar ventilators in the bathroom hatches.  

 When the sun set we were treated to a crystal backdrop of stars and only went below when the air grew too cool for our light clothing. All night long there was barely a ripple on the water and I woke every once in a while just because it was so still. Once I even imagined we were back in the boatyard, so profoundly motionless was EV. 

These are the moments that make our hard work worthwhile. 

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