• IRB Trip from Tauranga to the Mercury Islands

     At the start of January Jonty McCool (Who has been working with us on his University Holidays) and myself (George) decided that we would drive our ex Murawai inflatable boat up to the Mercury Islands. I can't quite remember where the idea for the trip came from, but we decided January would be a good time to do it with the prevailing Westerlies. We got the boat all ready at the start of January and then sat waiting for a good weather window.

    The trip took us 3 days, after a few hours of mucking around we left at 6.30 on Sunday night and got to Homunga on Dark. For those of you who don't know Homunga, it is a shorey and a half. The beach is really steep and the waves just dump straigth on the beach. We didn't really want to land here but were stuck with the light fading. so we got our line and rode the back of a wave straight onto a rock by accident. The first night of the trip and we were stuck on a rock in the middle of a 3 foot shore break with all of the gear awash and us trying desperately to pull the boat up the beach and off the rock. Needless to say the next two days were far less eventful.The 30hp Mercury, which they say uses 1/3 of the horsepower in fuel per litres per hour. So our engine used 30 / 3 = 10 litres of fuel per hour when we were fully throttled out. Looking on at Slipper over the glassy water of day 2. Slipper Island was such a good campsite, we slept under the stars both nights, and had a pretty staple diet of ciabatta buns and baked beans.

    Part of the idea of the trip was to get waves, but we also didn't want to much swell as it would have made the ride a bit more of a hassle, but we managed to get a good 2ft swell that gave us some good waves on the way up.The worst and best part of the trip was the dolphins. I was driving the dinghy so only took a few snaps on my camera, Jonty was the trips designated photographer and used an entire film from the start of the trip until we saw the dolphins, when we realsied the film had not been wound on properly...... We were pretty distraught. I would have rather swum home than lose that film, but ohwell. The photos I got of the dolphins were nothing compared to what Jonty had on the lost film.Walking around the Mercs trying to find waves.