The wind being capricious, we spend a night in Minerva Reef in the southern part of the lagoon where we get lulled by the swell. The next day we anchor towards the north island of New Zealand,.
After 6 days of sailing under grey and rainy skies... with waves exceeding the 4 meters at times we approach the new Zealand coast. We warn (as required by regulation) authorities by VHF of our next arrival in Opua. Health and immigration services await us at quarantine dock. In turn an official gets on board : Inspection of the boat is fast (freezer and fridge are empty) and the papers to be filled out for immigration is completed in 20 minutes. In no time we are in good standing and must leave the dock. We wet in front of the marina and celebrate our return to "civilization" with a capuccino then that same evening with a "roasted pork" Fish and chips at the Yacht Club! Before leaving on Paihia Philippe organizes with Bruce the exit of one of the engines for repair.
Paihia is a popular small summer resort in the Bay of Island. Our friends Vaughan and Leslie (Off2C) have their own dead bodies that they lend us in their absence. We can leave Tao safely on our "escapes" ashore!
It's the beginning of spring it's still very cool for us who come from Polynesia. We come out jeans and sweatshirts to make our first hike
up to Haruru falls,
where we hope to meet in the mangroves...
the famous "Kiwis", not those there …
but those birds that don't fly and are threatened with extinction : the first cause being massive deforestation giving way to extensive agriculture.
The second cause is the introduction of predators such as rats, ermines, Dogs...
In most trails traps are installed and it is strictly forbidden to walk with your dog even kept on a leash.
We're going back by road (perfectly secure for "walkers") in Paihia and after 17kms of walking a lunch is required
for us "shark" and gain strength for the next 18km ride from Paihia to Opua by the coast that we schedule the next day!