No story here - just noting that passing on a high pressure system for getting to Tonga means that you get to hang out and enjoy the sunny weather of the high in situ.
Today the winds between New Zealand and Tonga are northerly at 25 knots - the forecast for headwinds is what led us to take a pass on the last weather window, and it was pleasant to see that we called it right. Getting to Tonga means getting a fair ways to the east, which is upwind in the trades. So we're being picky with the weather, looking for the pattern with a lower-than-average preponderance of easterlies to help us get there without too much carrying-on.
So instead of sailing to Tonga last Friday we just picked the hook and sailed out to the Bay of Islands.
Moturua Island (above and below) is one of many anchorages we've shared with James Cook here and there through the Pacific. And now it's got a great walking track - just right for the ambitious six-year-old, and just a little too much for a three-year-old, no matter how ambitious.
And this is enough for me to take back everything luke-warm that I ever said about En Zed. The Department of Conservation mows little lawns by the ocean to make picnic spots along the track. Love it.
How do you know where the dolphins are in the Bay of Islands? Easy - just look for the fleet of boats following them around:
There's that terrible stage when they're too young to walk all the way up to the lookout, but too heavy to be carried.
"We want a house."
Eric imitating a Kiwi kid, who are famously inured to the cold. It didn't quite work out for him.
In between bouts of outdoor family fun, I did all the analysis for a new paper and solved a few boat problems that I hadn't known I had. Now we're back in Opua, about to go through the last-minute prep for a second time. A nasty low is supposed to blow in tomorrow and make everything miserable for a day, and after the low passes the southerly winds are meant to blow towards palm-fringed anchorages...