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Old 23-11-2017, 09:43   #1
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Cruising Hawkes Bay?

So, starting to plan the New Zealand cruise this year, from January through March. Mostly planning to be in the Hauraki Gulf, with a jaunt north to the Bay of Islands.

We're also starting to look at the Bay of Plenty, for which there is some info on line. There look to be lots of places to go and see.

Having visited Napier by car, I'd also like to go into Hawkes Bay.

But there do not seem to be any cruising guides, aside from one reference I found that essentially says that aside from Napier don't bother. My Navionics charts show very few anchorages.

Anybody have better advice? Should I just skip it and visit Napier overland?

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Old 23-11-2017, 12:10   #2
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Well worth the trip round the coast to Napier, you just need to watch the weather a bit when going round East Cape, go round that way on a good forecast and enjoy the trip.

There is a cruising guide to the area, published by the Royal Arakana YC, can't recall the name I'm afraid, it's on the boat, but I can post the name later on today when we get onto the boat.

Plenty of nice wee anchorages round that coast, you just have to choose the right one for the weather.

The Inner Harbour at Napier is a great place to be, and the Napier Sailing Club has great facilities. Very friendly folk. The visitor berths are on a first come first in basis. The club is only a skip and a hop away from some great eating places.

Not much else to do in Hawke Bay apart from Napier, but if you have the time there are loads of wee anchorages in remote bays on the way there from the Hauraki Gulf, which I for one wouldn't mind spending the time exploring.
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Old 23-11-2017, 12:15   #3
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Just noticed you have an Alan Wright 10m boat in Auckland. No trouble in that boat going round the coast. Used to have an Alan Wright Nova - slightly smaller version - and am very impressed by the abilities of his designs.
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Old 23-11-2017, 14:58   #4
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

The cruising guide is titled Coastal Cruising Handbook. You can order it on-line from Boatbooks (boatbooks.co.nz) NZ$65 + delivery. Great outfit to deal with, very helpful.
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Old 23-11-2017, 16:13   #5
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

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...

Not much else to do in Hawke Bay apart from Napier
And the vineyards
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Old 23-11-2017, 18:19   #6
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

I grew up sailing out of Napier. Unfortunately not a lot of good cruising in the area as sheltered anchorages are few and far between, most being not much more than open roadsteads with a fair bit of swell and often a strong onshore seabreeze.

The Mahia Penisular is one spot to cruise, haven't been there myself though. Cape kidnappers has a few poorly sheltered anchorages around the black reef and on the far side of Hawkes Bay there is another rolly anchorage, called Tangoio. Down the coast is Bare island, and I think boats have anchored in behind it.

Best bet is to enjoy the hospitality of the Napier Sailing Club, and the small sheltered harbour, and explore the region by bus or car.

Gisbourne has a great little harbour, and some of the bays north of Gisborne are more sheltered than anything around Napier.

Heading south Castle Point offers some shelter in west to south winds and there is a poor but usable NW wind anchorage at white rocks just before Cape Palliser. We usually high tailed it straight through to Wellington or the Sounds on a good forcast.

I am relying on old memories for most of this info..
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Old 23-11-2017, 19:37   #7
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Thanks, Al. Yes, I'm pretty sure the Wright 10 will handle pretty much anything I'm likely to be out in. Very solid boat. I think I might have a copy of that guide or know where to get one, but it would be in Auckland and I am (for the next few weeks) in Toronto. Boatbooks is right around the corner from Westhaven, where we dock.

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Old 23-11-2017, 19:37   #8
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Thanks for this. We'll see how the summer goes.

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Old 26-11-2017, 17:57   #9
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

I have great faith in anything Snowpetrel says, but personally I'd give Castlepoint a miss, you can get into the pooh there very deeply very quickly - and I normally like a challenge.
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Old 27-11-2017, 20:35   #10
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

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I have great faith in anything Snowpetrel says, but personally I'd give Castlepoint a miss, you can get into the pooh there very deeply very quickly - and I normally like a challenge.
Yeah, good point. I've only anchored there once in reasonable conditions after we fouled our prop trying to get around Cape Palliserin a real nasty Nw/sw blow. We ran up the coast overnight and by morning the wind had eased but the swell made it too dangerous to work on the prop.

We sailed into CP, anchored and cleared it there. Probably one of those places that is only advisable to anchor in when conditions are perfect, and in that case you are better off keeping moving...
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Old 28-11-2017, 08:30   #11
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

I remember chatting to the then-commodore of the Napier yacht club several years ago (during a landbased visit to the city) and he lamented the lack of good anchorages in the bay. "If only we had a few islands off shore, this would be a world sailing destination," he said (if memory serves).

At least for the next little while, Napier is about as far south as we plan to go; would love to get across the strait and cruise the Marlborough Sounds, but that's a serious expedition from Auckland with --as you guys have pointed out -- not many places to hide on the way. And the Admiral much prefers day sailing in nice weather. Well, who doesn't, really?



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Old 28-11-2017, 23:53   #12
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Ah, it's not as serious a trip as that to get to The Sounds going down the East Coast, with a decent forecast and a Northerly you ought to be able to do it with 2 nights at sea. Must 'fess up though, have never gone into the Sounds from an East Coast trip - always heading further South - but we can do the trip to Kaikoura in less than 60 hours from Napier. And in good weather there is some quite superb scenery on the Wairarapa coast.
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Old 29-11-2017, 03:45   #13
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Modern forecasting has made the trip much easier than back in the day when we used to do it. Its about 220 miles or so according to a quick look on Navionics. So really only a couple of days at most with reasonable weather. Maybe even just one night if you keep moving. But the real crux is the turn into Cook Strait. Inevitably if you leave on a northerly by the time you get there its gone NW in Cook Strait and blowing hard. And it's damn near impossible to make the 25 miles or so against a 40 knot NW and no where good to shelter. We used to sometimes heave to under Cape Campbell on the South Island and wait for the wind to swing SW as a kid.

But these days have a much better chance of picking a good window. And most boats have the range to just motor the whole way if need be.
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Old 29-11-2017, 08:41   #14
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Re: Cruising Hawkes Bay?

Did I mention the Admiral dislikes the very idea of night sailing? She'd much prefer to sleep. But in another year, I might park her in Auckland and make my way south with the son-in-law or some other stalwart. Then she could fly down to Nelson. But we will see.

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