FanShi and I are celebrating her first birthday, in a beautifully sheltered spot in the Bay of Islands, called Hauparua Inlet. It's pretty shallow - we are in about 1.5m at LW, but has land all around it and with 80ft of chain out, I'm feeling pretty secure. I have wondered about this place in bad weather and as the met service is talking about the remnants of cylone Cody sending 6 metre swells our way, I am pleased to be sheltered here. I think the swell would have to work hard to get round all those corners!
However, as if a cyclone were not enough, we have had tsunami warnings due to the volcanic eruption in Tonga. I've not been aware of anything unusual, but my friend, Gordon, reckons something must have happened last night, because he woke up to find himself rubbing in over-friendly fashion alongside a launch. And this in barely any wind, after his anchor had held through a couple of days of gale-force gusts. You might recall me writing about the friendly little marina at Tutukaka: well that has been badly damaged with the tsunami piggy-backing on the already-exceptional swell. Several boats have been lost, but fortunately no-one seems to have been hurt. However, I fear the poor Tongans will be in a shocking state, but we don't know because all their communications seem to be down at present. These tiny island kingdoms are feeling the onslaught of climate change; how sad to have to face damage from a volcano erupting as well.
This is a view from Urupukapuka taken in September. Gales were still coming through rather frequently, but the longer days persuaded me to drop the mooring now and then. The Bay is almost deserted and it stayed like this up to and including Christmas Eve. It's now very crowded, but soon people will be going back home again, and those of us based here can have it to ourselves once more.