This Weekend a group of us based ourselves at Sanspit holiday park Friday night and set off to Kawau for a day trip on Saturday.
It was an easy row over in the morning with a moderate wind slightly aft and apart from a brief shower we cruised the 5nm in a bit over 1 hr 20min.
Plan was to catch up with these guys who were having a mini raid to Kawau weekend, A nice little collection of John Welsford boats who cruised over friday afternoon and camped at Lidgard bay sleeping aboard on the beach.
After a great lunch at the Kawau boating club we rowed up to Mansion House to sit on the lawn in the sun and build up our strength for the row home. The row home turned out to be a good test for the St Ayles, It was gusting to 28 knots from the WSW by the time we left and a fairly decent chop was running in the first leg to the Mayne islands. After a solid 30 mins working hard we sneaked into the shelter of the first island for a well deserved rest, then continued on the slog in just over 2 hours we were pulling into the beach at Sandspit, a bit sore and tired but considering the sea state and the solid wind feeling pretty chuffed. Its a testament to the fine work of the original builders of the Shetland island boats and the great work of Iain Oughtred in his interpretation that we were able to average 2.5knots into that weather with only 3 rowing. The total amount of water that came onboard wouldn’t have been enough to fill the bailer.
Sunday Morning and we hauled Frank Worsley out of the water and joined some more friends at Warkworth town basin for a leisurely row down the Mahurangi river and back. The wind was still fresh outside so it was a good choice for an easier row after Saturdays effort.
Exploring the historic cement works.
A pretty great weekend, Two excellent rows with great friends within one hours drive of Auckland and a new appreciation of the sea keeping ability of the St Ayles.