Day trip

I couldn’t convince the family that they want to spend the night out so settled on a day trip only. They are still in favour of lake style cruising. Everything is much easier on the lake and it is a very family friendly place to be.

My mission is to convert them to be ocean lovers like me.

We headed up to Kawakawa bay on Saturday morning, not towing the boat for the first time and it was great!



Driving into the bay revealed the sea conditions, no wind flat calm. “Yay” the kids said whilst I again wished for at least a puff of wind….


We loaded up Corvina connected the tow hitch to the ute and soon had her floating. Mast up storage saves so much time and effort!




Kylie grabbed the tiller while I stowed the dock lines. We motored out of the breakwater and headed towards Ponui Island. The wind was practically non existent, so we continued motoring.



There was quite a few boats out travelling in every direction. It took a little bit of concentration to work out the best way not to crash into them. I think the rules are just a guide for some boaties!

One particularly arrogant Launch owner in his 40+ft boat doing approx 10knots had no intention of giving way or changing course when he was meant to. I think its even possible it was on auto pilot and no one was watching. We maintained our heading because I was  confident we would pass safely in front and also it would mean we would be close to an anchored boat with a couple of guys fishing.

I thought that us and the anchored boat would be enough “traffic” to warrant a minor course change by the Launch captain. But no that didn’t seem to matter! we passed in front as expected, the Launch passed the guys fishing, missing them by about 15m. The wake behind this launch wasn’t small. I would have thrown a handful of pilchards at him if I was them.



Tiller duties looked stressful so I disappeared up to the bow to bask in the sun and enjoy the cruise. When we got close to our destination Kylie said she was over steering and it was my turn. Much to her disgust I connected the tiller pilot and carried on slacking off.


The only real destination we had was “a beach” so we just followed the coast until we came across an acceptable one. We ended up going around the northern tip of Ponui and into a small bay  that pretty much forms a lagoon at low tide. I don’t know what the bay is called? maybe someone knows?.


The water was very clear and the tide still in enough I decided to go right in close and see if I could get us between the rocks and into the bay.  Another bonus of a trailer yacht is the ability to get in close and explore.

Kylie wasn’t so keen and expected the worst. My Grandfather ‘Pa’ loves getting in as close as possible in boats, Many times as kids we enjoyed the thrill of  being close enough to touch rocks. Exploring every nook and cranny possible. I think I get that from Pa.

It is said that there are only three kinds of skippers, those who have run aground, those who will run aground, and those that have but won’t admit it.

I’m still in the second category.


Anchored in enough water to allow for low tide, I ferried the kids to the beach and came back for Kylie and some supplies.



We settled under a large Pohutakawa tree and enjoyed the moment.

(click on any photo for full size)

Madi wanted to go across to the island in the distance, so we jumped in “Marshmallow” and propelled by the 2hp Yammie we cruised across to explore the island. We found all sorts of treasures.


On the way home we stopped for a drift fish, Brianna managed to catch a snapper and started licking her lips in anticipation of eating it. But much to her disappointment it was just under the limit and had to go back.

We collected a few mussels on the way back, some very good size ones too. Didn’t even get wet past our ankles.


While fishing I enjoyed the freshly steamed treats. In a past life I worked on the mussel farms in Coromandel, I have eaten more than my fair share of mussels. I can tell you these wild mussels where right up there in quality. They where in excellent condition.

Here’s a couple of “tips”

  • Mussels usually have barnacles, They affect the taste when you steam them. The commercial mussels go through a “tumbler” to separate the clumps and clean the outer shell. Hold two barnacle encrusted mussels together and rub them against each other, just like “one hand washes the other” the mussels will clean themselves.
  • Grip that bunch of hair that pokes out, squeeze the mussel tightly together and pull the hair away and slightly upwards towards the pointy bit. It should pull cleanly out without damaging the flesh, one less thing to worry about when eating them.


After a long day in the sun it was time to head back to the ramp and put Corvina back to bed. The wind was near absent the entire day, I didn’t raise a single sail.

The family preferred motoring over trying to sail and I didn’t want to risk the ocean lover conversion mission.

The day was a success I heard the family comment more than once during the day –

“We should of stayed here the night”……





Author: gulfwanderers

Just an average kiwi bloke

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