Today we enjoyed a great 35 mile sail up to Whangaroa Harbour, a fjord-like remote anchorage which feels pretty Norwegian with the pale grey light, cloud and rain we have had today. Great news for this part of the country to have rain at last. Yesterday in Russell we saw tankers of drinking water making deliveries around the township, and as we left Opua this morning a helicopter was scooping buckets of water from the sea to quench bushfires on the cliff.
The Duke's nose is a well recognised rocky outcrop on the cliff above this anchorage (see photo); we will see if we can scramble up there tomorrow.
Later tomorrow we plan to weigh anchor, set for Great Barrier Island 110 miles to the southeast, near Auckland. The spirit of Steve Withers must be with us, because we had following winds all the way up this coast and the forecast is for them to turn from the north tomorrow as we plan to sail south. We will do it in one hop overnight so we can be snug in harbour there before brisk easterly winds arrive on Thursday.