After three enchanting weeks cruising the Bay of Islands, we decided to unfurl the sails and head south toward Whangarei last weekend. Our first stop was Whangamumu, and our sail there is one of the more perfect days of sailing I can remember. There was no swell, but plenty of sunshine with which to enjoy the coastline: grassy cliffs topped with the occasional lighthouse, and rock formations with tempting tunnels. We had a comfortable, downwind ride. The winds were between 15 and 20 knots, blowing from the northwest. We beam reached on a port tack to Cape Brett, rounded the point, gybed, and cruised into Whangamumu Bay on an easy starboard tack.
We dropped the hook in the middle of the afternoon, and spent the remaining daylight hours hiking the surrounding hills and exploring the remains of a whaling station. The infrastructure and methodology were interesting, whales being caught with nets and then rowed, by hand, into the small bay, but the images of whale carcasses were more dour. Fear not, we had ample scenery and a languid sunset to raise our spirits.