Travel.P #14 – Whangamata

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”

Helen Keller – Fun name for the Quote btw.

After Jonny left, I joined the guys from the boat, Cerdric, Flo and Merv. Flo and Cedric already had some sailing experience and Merv was new to it, like me. Me and my stuff got picked up by Merv, rowing from the boat in a small dinghy towards me. Joining the boat was very shaky, even though the boat was sheltered. The inside was tiny and there was a big mess. After storing all my stuff and finding a sleeping place we hung out for a bit on the boat. Than we left again to the beach to get some food, for the trip in the evening. The first night in Whangamata, accompanied by friends of Flo and Ced, we left at night to a hidden beach 30 min walk from the boat. The walk was horrible and hidden, but after we found the main track we were alright. Arriving at the beach with water, fish and other food, we joined a couple guys, that left the boat earlier. There was already a bonfire going and they ate crabs, because we just brought all the food.

Wabi Sabi – Art & Dumplings

The small beach was beautiful. Surrounded by deep green forest and tall cliffs on the right. The waves were falling in constant relaxing sound over the beach. From the cliff we could gather more drinking water, that protected us from thirst, especially in the morning, because as I experienced, my friends from the boat really liked drinking, especially red wine, since Flo and Ced were french. Since I started that topic, I will continue there. So we arrived at the beach and instantly took out all the drinks and started drinking, talking, cooking, dancing and having fun to music and waves sound in the background. I tried to eat a crab as well, and thought that I would have to eat a lot to be satisfied, since they didn’t bear a lot of flesh. Trough the night and more wine, we went swimming in the ocean. When we started swimming we realized blue lights around us. Bioluminescent plankton. It was a mystical moment and we all had a fun. The sky was covered in stars and we could see the milky way. We body surfed waves and danced, and spoke until one after another fell asleep on the beach. The next morning we woke up to a hot, aggressive sun. Thirsty and hungover from the night before. Luckily we could find shade in the cliffs or big stones on the beach. After cleaning up and hanging out at the beach for two more hours, trying to recover from the night, we left towards the boat, where we got some more sleep.

In the boat

We wished some friends farewell and spend our day, sleeping on the boat, walking through town and hanging out at a shop of friends w met. That shop ‘Wabi Sabi’ was amazing, selling dumplings outside and art and clothes inside. It was made with a lot of love and all day friends were hanging out at their shop. The owners were from great nature and nice to be around. Grounded and relaxed. During the day we explored Whangamata a bit, and found some nice bikes, that were thrown away by the wealthy people living in the small town. We took those bikes the next morning with us towards Mount Manganui, pulled on the dinghy behind the boat, but first there was another wild night. When the night came closer and the sun faded away over the land, while I enjoyed a reverse sunset over the ocean, the crew went back into drinking and Flo and Ced, as if nothing happened the night before, went all in again, while I was asleep on the boat.

No wind scenario on Odin

The next morning, accompanied by two friends, we set sail. The first time on my own boat. I had no idea what was going on, so I watched and learned. The trip was very slow and there was no wind at all, after the morning passed into noon. So we hung out on the ocean, getting shaken by little waves and me becoming seasick as a result, laying down, swimming or trying to catch some fish. After a long slow trip, supported by our engine, we arrived in Mount Manganui. Even though we just sailed a bit it was still very exiting and beautiful. We passed kilometer long empty beautiful beaches and great beach scenery. In Mount Manganui, we managed to find a random buoy, like we always tried, and stayed there for a while. There I learned about the light and signs, weather and radio, and sails and maintaining skills of the boat. We anchored there for four weeks, waiting for a good weather period to sail the east cape and doing a trip on the land for two weeks. We worked on the boat and repaired a lot, that was broken through trips in the North.

View from the shore at Odin and the mount on the right.

Mount Manganui is a nice town with beautiful beach parts. It got a big harbor and many activities from surfing to paragliding or just walking the Mount, rewarded with a beautiful view 360 degrees around you. It is touristic, but not packed like Queenstown or other places alike. A good spot to eat out is at ‘Astrolabe Brewbar’, especially on Tuesday from four pm – 10$ Burger, Beer and Chips.

The next time I will tell you how my first couple weeks of boat life were, how we cut holes in the boat, and repaired all by our own. I will tell you about the free BBQ opportunities at the beach and fun nights and the beginning our exciting road trip.

Challenge for today is to not cramp your day full of bussy work. Thinking time is gold. Why don’t do a bit less and just sit and simply start thinking. No phones, no media. Just you and your head. I am reading a book called Essentialism. So far I am a big fan. Give it a try if you want.

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