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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Moturua's Gorgeous Light (New Zealand's Bay of Islands)


Predawn in Moturua's Waiwhapuku Bay (aka Army Bay),
Bay of of Islands, New Zealand

It's doubly appropriate Moturua island's gorgeous light naturally conjures up the refrain "Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light*...." Based on prior military presence, Waiwhapuku Bay earned its alternate moniker, Army Bay.


*part of the USA's national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," referencing the symbolism of the American flag and written to drum up a patriotic response to war.

Dawn emerges, Bay of of Islands, Waiwhapuku Bay,

Moturua Island, New Zealand.


The leisurely trail circumnavigating Moturua winds through Navy structure remnants left behind from World War II, when they were erected for defense.

Like nearby Motuarohia (aka Roberton, our prior Bay of Islands stop), Maoris originally inhabited Moturua. Locals at both islands welcomed Captain Cook.  The French who followed at Motuarohia, however, had some skirmishes, with bloody results.  







View of Waiwhapuku Bay, New Zealand from Moturua Island trail.
Note the rain, which occurred off and on during our hike,

Today formerly deforested Moturua is returning to its roots, as native plant reforestation takes hold.

A steady turnover of boats anchored then mostly left for picnics, hikes, and swims.  We're not sure where they were all so fired up to go next, we happily enjoyed the placid beauty and excellent shelter for a couple days.  



Waiwhapuku Bay stilled enough for reflections as dusk approached.
Long, graceful shadows stretched from the trees over the water,
a pleasant contrast to the bright yellow-green 
grassy carpeting.





We appreciated Moturua's gentle ups and downs of the trail as it worked its way around.  After spending so much time this year in 150 square foot space. we're rather out of shape.  This, rather than New Zealand's mountainous South Island offer a better re-introduction to our land legs.




Sunset cast its golden glow over the rocks
off nearby Motukiekie Island

As the wind warnings abated, we gave Moturua a fond goodbye as we pushed off for our next stop, the Cavallis, just beyond the Bay of Islands.

That little boat with the burgundy sail covers is ours.  Yes, it's a
tiny boat, but not too small to sail 10,000+ miles
across the Pacific this year.
Location Location
This recent retrospective covers our time in Moturua (S3513.076 E174.11.604), from December 17-20, 2015.  When it posts, we'll be in the midst of a several day trip to Whangarei, planning in extra time to stop for sights along the way.  We expect to be mostly out of wifi range until we arrive in Whangarei just after New Years.

Cruising by the Numbers
While these next few months we won't sail very far, between December 2014 and November 2015 we sailed over 10,000 miles, from Florida to New Zealand.  Once cyclone season abates, we'll resume cruising more serious distances, though far less than we did this last year.