Friday, 19 October 2018

Dolphins in the Marina!

On a sunny afternoon recently at Fairway Bay Marina, I was chatting to one of our neighbours when I noticed some fins in the water ... dolphins! They swam up and down for several hours, no doubt feasting on the fish that are prevalent in the water here. I guess the "No Fishing" signs do not apply to them! There was about six of them altogether ... some saw a couple of younger ones in the group.

Notice the empty green grassy patch over the other side, currently devoid of people ....

 This is right opposite Stella, the boat closest to where we're parked in the marina.

 Alan and Karen live on the Joan Maree ... enjoying their visitors.

It wasn't long before the word was out and people arrived from everywhere. This is the previously empty green spot in the earlier photo.

 People just wanted to be out amongst them, and it was lovely to see no one bothering the dolphins or trying to touch them.

A couple of girls with their dog on our side of the water ...

The dolphins hung around and were still there the next morning. Although not common, apparently dolphinsand even an orcahave been seen in the marina before.

Lucy enjoyed a quick play with this visitor before he left with his people.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Orewa Beach

We've found a lovely c3 church in Orewa and one Sunday, after the service, we stopped at the Orewa Beach on our way home. It was a miserable dayovercast and greybut still a beautiful beach.

In spite of the weather, there were surfers out not too far off shore. 

There didn't seem to be many waves ....

 A new surfer getting some tips.

And others just out for a walk, rugged up against the cold and wind. 

Back "home" at Fairway Bay Marina, the palm trees up on the hill give a clear picture of the weather we were experiencing that day.

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Sunday, 30 September 2018

A Sunday Walk

Although we went to Taranaki for our gransdson's fifth birthday, we've returned to Fairway Bay Marina. We came for one night back in July and ended staying .... Apologies for infrequent blog posts since then. With not travelling and 'sightseeing' so much, there didn't seem to be so much to tell you. But now we're settling in here for I don't know how long, and we're hoping to do a few short trips here and there around this area.

Sitting up on our bed gives Lucy a great view of what's going on outside the rig. The boat you can see is Stella. She belongs to Grant, the guy who owns Yogi's Bar and Eatery nearby.

One Sunday, we decided to go for a walk around to the Gulf Harbour Marina. We're actually in the Fairway Bay Marina, which is towards the east of Gulf Harbour. You might be able to see a path to the left of the photo near Lucy's eyebrow ... that's where we'll be walking ... along that top white stripe and to the leftwest. (The lower white strip is part of Stella's railing.)

To get to the other side, we have to walk over towards Yogi's (east/right), along the road (Pinecrest Drive) for a short way, then into the bush onto the other side of the marina.

Here we're in the bush, walking along the track, looking across at Yogi's Bar. That's the black-roofed building and the area directly this side of it. The red roof is just a roof ... there were plans at one stage for there to be a regular market with stalls in this area, but although it's advertises as such, apparently it didn't work out. So, no market. Shameit would have been fun!

  The track gets quite muddy after it's been raining, but we still managed to navigate our way along.

Looking back at Yogis.

  Further along, looking back at Stella. You can see our rig just beyond the electric gate (at the end of the ramp). The gates are all locked for security reasons and give access to the boats. By now, we've come out of the bush and are walking along the path mentioned earlier, shown in the first two photos.

 A little further on, looking back at Stella. 

 And then directly out at the marina. At this stage we've left Fairway Bay Marina, and we're now looking at boats in the Gulf Harbour Marina. The cut-off point is just this side of Stella.

Looking back at the path we've just walked along.

  And forward ... walking around the side of some apartments in the Gulf Harbour Marina area.

Gulf Harbour apartments.

Past the apartments, we crossed over the road to arrive at a small block of shops. It's really just a small grocery store and a cafesome real estate offices as well. I can't remember much else. You can walk around right beside the waterit's restful and pretty. 

We stopped at Cherry Cafe for a coffeethose 'twin towers' are a bit of a landmark in Gulf Harbour.

We returned the same way we'd come. After walking back along the road and entering the Fairway Bay Marina land, there were a couple of pukekos off to the left of the path. They weren't bothered in the least by my presence; they were more interested in each other. 

Love them or hate them, they really do have beautiful colouring.

As we head back 'home' towards Yogi's, there's a small beach area off to the right and also a picnic table and chairs under that beautiful old tree.

Directly ahead is The Kitchen Door. Sean bakes a variety of goods (the smell is delicious when you walk past!) including British-style pasties and pork pies—and yes, we've sampled them; the pasties are delicious, and the cold pork pies are different to any pies I've eaten before. I'm sure they're something ex-pat Brits would be keen to get their hands on. Sean sends out UK Food Parcelsmaybe that's the bulk of his business as there's not a lot of foot traffic past here. Well, not at this time of year, anyway! You can check out The Kitchen Door and their goodies online here.

This beach is crushed shells and man-made. However, it's nice to actually have any kind of beach so close, although there's no swimming allowed here in the marina. Maybe we'll be able to paddle in the summer! 

Lucy found a friend.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Okoromai and Army Bay Beaches

Last weekend was stunning weather. We spent the Saturday with friends who'd travelled up from Hahei to visit their son who lives near Manly and Stanmore Bay. On Sunday we went for a drive; the Whangaparaoa Peninsula is quite hilly and some of the streets are quite steep. We first went UP the hill from where we're staying to see what we could see . . . a beautiful view across the water towards Auckland city.

Then we drove back down and headed eastout towards the end of the peninsula and Shakespear Regional Park, hoping to be able to take Lucy for a walk; but unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the reserve. So we kept driving and before long came across Okoromai Beach, on the Auckland side of the peninsula. Lots of people were gathering cockles in the low tide; I was surprised at the footwear of some of the people who'd ventured out into the water to find some.

Back up on the grass was a convenient tap to hose the sand off the cockles . . . and those shoes! There are several signs aroundin a few different languagesreminding people that there's a limit of 50 cockles per gatherer per day.

Although it was getting later in the day, there were still a lot of people around taking advantage of the sunshineOkoromai Bay Beach is obviously a popular picnic spot.

After we left that beach, we headed north to the other coast and Army Bay. Just to the right of this photo is a boat ramp, and the car park we were in had plenty of longer parking spaces to allow for cars with boat trailers. No doubt it's much busier than this in the summer. 

Looking west along the beach.

There were some intriguing trees like this one that appear to be lounging on the sand with their roots stretched back towards the bank, anchoring them to some life-preserving sustenance. As on many beaches in New Zealand, the sea appears to be slowly encroaching on the land.

Dogs were welcome on both beaches at this time of yearLucy enjoyed a run along the sand off leash on the Army Bay Beach where there were fewer people. This photo was taken back at Okoromai Bay Beach.

Heading home again, we stopped at this small lakeI don't know that it has a name. We've seen model boats on it in the past. Dave pointed out the golf course he'd played on just last weekyou can see some bunkers on the far side of the lake.

Here's a map of the area. The golf course Dave was on was the Gulf Harbour Country Clubit's quite a large courseon both sides of Gulf Harbour Drive. The Whangaparaoa Golf Club is also showing on the mapyet to be played, but I understand there is a plan . . . .

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