After three weeks of travelling with friends, I was heading solo again.
After a last lunch in Coromandel, this time at the Mussel Kitchen, Tenzing and Mr How Fucking Much dropped me off at the terminal outside Coromandel to catch the Auckland Ferry.
I say ‘terminal’. It’s more of a jetty.
Mr HFM would have been no good standing on this – as previously mentioned,he struggled with seasickness on a boat ride across the river Thames passing the Houses of Parliament.
While the waters of the bay were calm, the jetty bobbed up and down making editing pictures a little challenging. Is that horizon straight or do the boats look like they’re sailing downhill?
Before the ferry could get underway, the captain announced that the journey was challenged by the fact that it was low tide.
Could all passengers move to the bow of the ship to help rebalance the boat? I wasn’t the only person pleased when he clarified that the bow of the vessel is the front.
There were a few tense moments as we listened to the engines turn and gradually, the ferry moved away from the dock.
The road trips across New Zealand have been incredible. Catching the ferry from Coromandel to Auckland shows yet another side to the country, especially on a clear sunny day like this one.
The waters were calm as the boat moved into the Thames Bay, passing small rocky islands and fishing boats.
The low tide continued to cause problems… after 45 minutes sailing the captain announced that the vessel would have to slow and wait at sea for 45 minutes before being able to head into the harbour on Waiheke Island.
The ferry did continue to move into sheltered waters. I did wonder how Mr HFM would have coped left bobbing on the seas.
However, we were sailing (and therefore still moving) in the shelter of the islands, passing sailboats, and the journey remained smooth until we headed for the dock.
Mr HFM would not have liked this.
I was quite pleased when further seating rearrangements were not needed as the ferry pulled away from the island dock and we set sail for Rotorua Island.
Just as I had that thought, the captain then announced that the bow manoeuvre probably would be necessary again.
I once sailed from Hull to Amsterdam with my mother and as we set off she said: “Oh, isn’t it like the Titanic?”
“I bloody hope not,” was my reply. “That was a sea crossing that didn’t end well.”
While considerably warmer and without an iceberg in sight, the seating/standing arrangements were starting to raise slightly worrying parallels in my mind.
The sea became rougher as we left the shelter of the islands, nothing as unpleasant as the Whitianga ride though.
As the skyline of Auckland became recognisable in the sunshine, the City of Sails was beginning to live up to some of its reputation on this Friday afternoon.
We skirted Devonport and the waters became chopper, resulting in the ferry practically bunny hopping into the harbour where a cruise ship towered over the hotel beside the Ferry Building.
And, yes it did feel strange to be setting off alone again, after three weeks of hanging out with friends. It also felt a little sad.
We’ve had a great time.
However, the previous three months or so hqd also been fab and I anticipate similar for the next stages of my trip.