January 7 – 9, 2014
New Zealand is full of beautiful, rolling farmland. We were able to leave the boat on a mooring in Parua Bay for two days and make the scenic drive across Northland to visit with some old Kiwi cruising buddies. After a world circumnavigation, our friends have settled in the outskirts of Tinopai, a tiny town situated near Kaipara Harbour toward the western side of the North Island. They were very gracious to put up our family, plus my visiting parents, up for two nights in their home, as well as take us on a tour of the area. Among the many things we did, the Kauri Museum and scalloping in Kaipara Harbour were favorites.
There are a couple of ways to collect scallops. Diving and collecting them by hand is one way, but when Wil attempted this in Bay of Islands, it wasn’t long before he suffered a headache from the cold water. Prolonged submersion in cold waters is risky business! Our friends treated us to a much easier (and warmer) method for collecting scallops. They took us out on an old, restored motor vessel for some scallop trawling. We used a small basket dredge to collect the scallops, and once we had our quota, we stopped the boat in a peaceful corner of the harbour for a beer. Later that evening, we all enjoyed an incredible scallop meal.
Our friend, Greg, enjoys restoring old wooden boats. A pride and joy of his is Scamp, a 1943 mullet boat. The July 2014 magazine issue of “Boating New Zealand” has a DIY article featuring Greg’s restoration work with Scamp. She’s a beauty!
After two wonderful days of visiting and touring with our friends, we returned to the boat in Parua Bay. Over the next several days, we would continue our sail toward Auckland.