We departed Picton. Having loaded some very nice local sauvignon blanc into the last tender from the shore we picked up the anchor and set off for Tauranga. The run round was pleasant enough but oh my Lord, when we arrived at the port limits on the morning of the 6th at 5am the port was shut due to the strong winds from the west. They would not let me in. After a review at 9am the port remained closed. All we could do was head for Auckland and see if we could arrive and get a berth for the night. So that is what we did. Not ideal but with no other choice , keeping the ship comfortable was the priority.
When we got to Auckland the wind was still over 30 knots until we got into the lee of the city. Then we got some shelter and berthed on the Queens Wharf. All our mooring ropes were put out to hold the ship through the night. We had wind, rain and chilly temperatures all within the space of a few hours. Then by dawns early light it all changed. The sun came up, the clouds disappeared and the people came out to see us.
This was another busy day for this was change over day. Departing guests left for all points of the globe. Arriving guests did just that, arrived. The sighs of relief at having arrived onboard I swear were audible for all to hear. A glass of chilled champagne freshly poured from the ice bucket does wonders and kick starts the relaxation process nicely. We sailed at 16:00 back to Tauranga on the first step to retrace our passage to Sydney.
As I write I am watching the people enjoying the sunshine on the beach ahead of us. Blue skies prevail in marked contrast to our visit here not 48 hours ago. Well, we did not visit as the port was closed but you get the drift. Astern of us is the Oosterdam of Holland America line and astern of her is the Albatross. She is an elderly lady of the sea with German passengers. A busy Sunday in port. We will sail this evening and spend tomorrow at sea before arriving in Wellington on Tuesday.