Otaio Bay

2016 03 31 Sail Nt 2 Anchorage - Opunga Cove-2The next morning after a colorful sunrise, we sailed out to our next destination, Otaio Bay, and we passed a huge power boat at anchor in the next bay.   They had a helicopter on the stern!   Hard to imagine life on a boat that big and how many places you can go in such a short time.  Wonder what their house looks like!

2016 04 01 Sail Day 3 - MegaYacht-1Otaio Bay on the chart, Entico Bay on the island sign, was located on an island called Urupukapuka Island Recreation Reserve.  On our first day out for a hike, we stopped to take a short jaunt to a bird blind.   This is an area where the preservationists created a freshwater pond that is a great feeding area for all kinds of birds.   Spent a brief time here as I am not a patient bird watcher but got a few decent pictures. Bird watching is a bit like watching paint dry or the gray noisy fuzzy screen on tv.  Just too …passive.  The birds were very far away so a true birdwatcher would have their binoculars with them. We did see the coolest duck I have ever seen, the Pateke.   A beautiful duck with a white head and colorful feathers.  A lot more colorful than our mallard ducks.    We also saw this black bird with an orange face.   I think he is a Pukeko.  On with our hike!

The hiking path guided us up some tall hills that were rather steep and the paths were very grassy.  Very nice and cushy, making the walk easy on the feet.  Well worth it as the views from the top were spectacular.   The water is so beautiful in color here that as it glistens with the sun’s reflections it appears to have a magical quality to it.  The water temperature is cool but swimmable, but the color makes you feel like jumping right in.   Hard to tell in these dreary pics, but the day will make a difference in the water color.

2016 04 01 Sail Day 3 Urupukapuka Hike to Otehei Bay-1122016 04 01 Sail Day 3 Urupukapuka Hike to Otehei Bay-111

No dolphins or whales have been sighted yet but we have SHEEP!   Oh yeah.   Loving the sheep.  They are so darn cute and I realize there are more sheep than people in all of NZ so I will get my fill, but in this beautiful location, we cross a gate and walk with them for quite a bit on the trail.   One of the things NZ tells travelers before they come-do not randomly pull over on the side of the road unless there is room.   Tourists cause all kinds of traffic problems when they stop to take pictures of sheep.   I find myself taking waaay too many pictures and driving Shawn nuts, but this is probably the closest we will get to them and the backdrop scenery is too hard to resist.

There are a few steps that you have to walk over to get to the other side of the fence.   I am amazed the sheep do not walk upstairs but climb up steep cliffs.   Go figure.

After walking with the sheep, the trail ended up at Otehei Bay.   We had heard there was a café here, but it was all closed up for the season.   We just missed the holiday Easter vacationers.

Walked back up the same trail we came down on and caught up with this funky bird.   The trees looked like they had been in a fire, but I guess this is just how they look.   The birds hide in the greenery at the top making them hard to see.   They make a funky gurgling noise and the white things under their neck expand to twice their size!   Have not been near a book to look them up yet.

The weather was looking dicey so we decided to stay another day.  Rained very hard, had lots of wind and some thunder all night.   Not the most restful night, but our anchor held fast to the sandy bottom.

2016 04 02 Sail Nt 4 Anchorage Otaio Bay-4

Larry, Moe, and Curly joined us for dinner.

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