Bay of Islands Sojourn

 Bay of Islands sojourn for a warm up 2-11
Well as I was on leave and planning a trip North the invite to do the Bay of Islands loop which a local kayaker up there calls "The Rat Run" was a good opportunity to tick this always wanted to do trip.
Copied a trip track off a Website proposed by "Hairy Little Dwarf" ( Pete )
Then track put onto my Garmin handheld GPS 62S, and although I'm a bit vague on it's complexities it proved very reassuring as I ended up doing it solo after he got crook and pulled out.

Rocked on up to Keri Keri and found a place to stay on the Wednesday night then went for a paddle out around the Black rocks and a few islands for a shake down - very nice scenery but only a couple of smaller Snapper taken to give to the Relies I was staying with.
Shifted camp down to Aroha Island and tented as nice and handy for an early start Friday .

Start nice and early - well actually a bit delayed.
On the water ,and away at 6.23am and things were looking good 

With forecast saying wind was going to pick up NW 15 knots early afternoon so thinking unless I did course back to front the wind would be on the nose for the last leg from Tapeka Point.

On past the Black rocks again but with a bit more purpose as I wanted to make reasonable speed as thinking I wanted to get back to Tapeka Pt. mid dayish then see how wind was , erring on side of caution in unknown waters all alone-

Got into the general sightseeing cruise mode and really enjoyed taking in this neat circuit-
Quiet off peak time of year made Sea traffic manageable- tourist boat off to Hole in the Rock
Some neat camp sites out there will have to come back sometime soon and "sit a spell"
 Rounding the top outside of Urupukapuka was scenic and you could see fish swimming in the clear waters so didn't really have the heart to deal to them much in my reverie-

That is until going through a narrow gap off there and thinking this is where Kerry said you would get a Fat spawning 30lb Snapper- when whammo the light rods howling and nothing was going to dissuade this Beast from the sanctuary of the big rocks only 20 mtrs away  
Aw well thems the breaks but better press on and see what there is to see.
Squided and bent jig from a dealing too.

Bottom end of Urupukapuka Island , camp site.


Privately owned Motukiekie Island-
Tapeka point on Russell side was in sight and the long stretches pretty much done and on target to get there lunchtime -

This bit was a bit boring but good to tick off the loop to Russell area and a stop for sustenance needed now and then in case energy needed for wind getting up.
Kent passage last leg- dead ahead (lets get this done ) 

Had been a fairly good paddle with no shore stops and 6 hrs elapsed so a fullah was getting a bit warmed up-
This selfy not too flattering -

Back through Kent passage and thoughts of a good coffee spurring me on so soon back to Opito Bay start after a thoroughly enjoyable day and the wind was just getting up as forecast on the last few Km's as predicted 

7 hours and 44km later 
Thanks for trip inspiration and help with GPS and daughter for computer help to log and download GPS.

Interesting just started playing around with GPS and found speed profile for trip -real accurate and you see the regular pauses to stretch and have a breather , the higher initial speed starting even though pacing yourself at about 10 km/hr then after about 40 km (when fatigue setting in the speed drops to 7-8 km/hr.
good guide as flat water paddling with no wind assistance or impediment most of the way.
Actually that last bit did have a slight head wind crop up .
The flagged waypoints the initial trip route with headings and distances loaded from Petes website map, and the arrowed track the actual course taken.
Did the whole trip without stopping ashore just rests at sea .