February 18-21

After the Prada Cup being postponed with Tier 3 lockdown in Auckland we hung out around the Viaduct for a few days. When the government lowered to Tier 2 we were able to get out and use the boat again. Thursday, Feb 18 we headed out to Waiheke Island again to Putiki Bay on the south side of the island. Was a nice peaceful evening. The next morning we sailed over to Islington Bay between Rangitoto Island and Motutapu Island to enjoy the climb up to the summit of Rangitoto. A beautiful day lead to a fabulous hike! We docked the dinghy at Yankee Wharf on the East side of Rangitoto and followed the trail from there. We explored the lava caves on the way back down. After the hike we pulled up anchor and sailed back to Oneroa Bay on the northwest side of Waiheke Island. We had another peaceful evening. The next morning, Saturday, Phil & I hiked another section of the Te Ara Hura trails, this time to the east of the bay. Another up and down tramp with beautiful views. Freddie, Kat and Nikolai did the trail we did previously to the west of the bay. We met at Fenice Restaurant in town for a nice pizza lunch. Our second trip, great little spot! We then headed to course area E to watch the Prada Cup. It was the day of the only win for Ineos. After the races we sailed back to Islington Bay to anchor for the night. We decided to skip watching the races on Sunday. The course was the furthest north. Instead we headed out in the morning to Motuihe Island, a small island paradise in the Hauraki Gulf that we sail by all the time. There has been a country wide effort to restore and protect the biodiversity in New Zealand. We have had the pleasure of meeting some individuals dedicated to these projects and have been able to enjoy the results of their efforts. The groups are working to eradicate introduced predators in order to ensure that native plants and animals survive. We have seen these efforts on all our nature excursions. Motuihe Island is a perfect example of their successes. After our nice morning we headed back to Auckland to prepare for our trip to the South Island. More on that soon.

Prada Cup, the race Ineos won
Our sail to Islington Bay after racing
Team Ineos coming into the Viaduct after the Prada Cup
Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli after the Prada Cup win
The sun sets on the Prada Cup

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