Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
A couple days ago we hoisted our boats, hove up the anchor and Picton Castle made her way from Parua Bay northward 53 miles to the famous and scenic Bay of Islands nearer the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand. By the way, although New Zealand seems to be small on the map, (next to Australia) but sailing from the north tip of New Zealand to the south tip is the same as sailing from Nova Scotia to Florida, pretty far. Anyway, we are in the Bay of Islands and anchored at Russell.
Russell is a charming small village that was once an important whaling port. It appears little changed. Low Victorian colonial architecture. Shade trees along the modest roads, a few spots to sit and enjoy looking over the harbour. And laundry and wifi as is always in high demand. The anchorage is protected enough for us and good holding.
We have been at work getting ready to get ready for our long sea-passage bound for Pitcairn Island. The mate and crew emptied out the chain locker under the forepeak (aka the “Bro-Cave”); hawsers, fenders, blocks, wires, strops, spare running lights and more all came up, got inspected, some stuff got chucked, the rest cleaned and inventoried. Then the space got a good scrub, dried up and all was restowed, taking up less space than before. Next will be the large storage space under the sole in the tween decks, main salon area. Here we keep sails, coils of rope and a whole lot of other stuff.
We also had a workshop in tackles and overhauling blocks. In the afternoon the free watch went ashore and had a relaxing time in and around Russell. A beautiful sunset sky made a delightful setting to see our barque at anchor only three cables off the beach.