27 Oct

The forecast over the long weekend lived up to expectations - fine with gentle winds. Everyone who had a boat seemed to be out on the harbour. Lunch stop was just past Matakana Point for Breeze Hunter, Mariesoffie and Cleen Sheets with Cloudburst turning up for a day sail as we were setting off after lunch. As it was a late high tide (1419) the plan was to use a GPS to set up a track then come back at night following that track otherwise we would be stuck up in the Bowentown Harbour most of Sunday afternoon. I started going between Matakana and the mangrove island (the short cut to Bluegum Bay) but depth was down to 600mm so I joined the rest following the stakes.

   We pulled ashore at the start of Bluegum Bay by the cable marker where there was a nice sandy beach. Anchored in enough water so we could just get ashore then had happy hour at 1700 and a BBQ at 1800. As we were so far away from anyone else we had a quiet night till the alarm went off at 0230. Breeze Hunter was the last to float at 0315 then off we motored. One eye on the GPS and one eye searching ahead to make sure we didn't run into any marks - the ones between the harbours are unlit and steel posts! My rudder touched a few times as per usual I was cutting the corner but the others had 1.2m all the way. Anchored at Matakana Point at 0500, went back to sleep then breakfast followed by a shy reach back to Sulphur Point.

   So, something a bit different. Also a bit different will be the overnight cruise on 7th November to Athenree. Bit tricky getting up the estuary but should be enough tide to float in and the hot pools make it worthwhile.

Bevan Grant

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