Motuarohia Island and the little Blue Penguin

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We set our sights today on an island where Captain Cook landed here in 1769.   He was met by the Maori, where a small battle ensued.   When it was over, they soon learned that the good Captain and his crew were friendly.   It was the Maori’s tradition to fight first and ask questions later.  Cook had a Tahitian on board the Endeavour who could understand and converse with Māori which probably gave him an advantage over other travelers.

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The day was flat and calm, with the reflections of land and boat in the water crystal clear.  With no wind in sight, we were motoring along when Shawn points to something in the water.  “Penguin!” he yells.   Ha!   Grab the camera and zoom in as I am thinking it is a duck.  But, Shawn is right.  It is a blue penguin, swimming all by himself.  So fun to watch!   We wonder where his mates are as he swims without a care in the world.

Twin Lagoon Bay is a smaller bay and already has two boats anchored there.   We find a good spot to drop the anchor and decide to do some laundry before we dink ashore.  The next thing I know there are 2 Tour boats passing right up close to us while I am doing the laundry.  Tours! Dolphins! Explore! Sightseeing! Sailing!  Laundry! Geez.   We had thought this was a quiet cove but apparently, it is quite a famous one.   Several more boats pass by and they all get to enjoy our laundry hanging out to dry.

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After hanging up the remaining laundry, we dink on over and enjoy a short walk upstairs (!) to the top where you have 360-degree view of the area.   I must say, the views here never disappoint.  They are always different and always stunning.  While enjoying the views, we noticed that 2 touring sailboats drop anchor in the bay.  By the time the day was done, there were 4 touring sailboats also anchored in the same cove.  They come for the snorkeling and the quick hikes and people also get to enjoy a good sail on the way here and back.

When everyone was back on their boats and getting ready to leave, we decided to try snorkeling.  It was just too cold for me but Shawn swam quite a bit and tried our underwater camera to take some pics, but I guess some practice is needed with the camera.

This bay is not a good spot to spend the night so we dink back to our boat, pull in laundry and pull up the anchor.   We are heading back to Pomare Bay, near Russell, as tomorrow we have to be off the boat. We noticed some fins sticking up out of the water.   Sharks?? Nope-dolphins!  We finally have a sighting.   There are about 6 of them, but they are a bit boring as they do not come near us or jump or really do anything exciting.   At least we saw them.

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As we approach our turn to go towards our night spot, we see this huge cruise ship!  The Celebrity Solstice had dropped anchor and was transporting people to various towns in the area for offshore activities.  We were later told that this was not one of the bigger ships that come to the area.   We were glad that they were anchored and we did not have to worry about staying out of their way.   A sailboat did get a bit close and a security guy zipped out to him on his jet ski.  The sailboat moved, sort of.  You are always supposed to stay 1000 feet away from any commercial vehicle.  Really, just give them room!

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We dropped anchor for the night and enjoyed dinner in town.  Tomorrow we take a plane from Kerikeri airport to Auckland, then on to Queenstown, located on the South Island of NZ.   We are ready for some hiking trips!

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