Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great Barrier Island

I don't even know how to summarize our experiences here. This large island is 33 miles from where we usually moor the boat. It feels like a sailor's playground. Dozens of coves face many directions and provide flat calm anchoring in any wind condition.

My favorite place so far has been Smokehouse Bay. Years ago, the family that owns the property ashore envisioned a place for boaties to build fires for smoking fish. The idea blossomed and grew into an area that has a bath house with a small woodstove outside to heat the water for a shower and a tub inside. There's also an outdoor shower/tub combo that has ho water plumbed to it. In the center of the clearing is a fire pit with picnic tables around it. On the other side of the clearing is the large fish smokehouse. Right next to shore in amongst some flax bushes are sinks with plumbed water and old-fashioned laundry wringers attached. Clotheslines are erected on a small rock outcropping nearby. Hundreds of people use the facilities here every week during the summer but, despite the absence of garbage bins, the whole area is tidy and well-kept.

Brian gave Eloise a swim lesson in the warm water of the outdoor tub a few days ago. She splashed and smiled and performed her drills with him quite happily.

Pictures are coming soon.

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