A post from Webb Chiles in Opua brought memories of a walk we made from Paihia to Opua in April last year.
The walk follows the bays, first across rocks and along a beach, on through mangroves and then along a sometimes wider, sometimes narrower, sometimes rough, sometimes smooth path. We walked comfortably through bush or along the water’s edge beneath the low and somewhat fragile cliffs.
Like all good walks, there are wide views – (here looking north east towards Russell),
and elevation that taking images from a boat doesn’t allow – (looking across the water to Okiato).
There is a chance to study the navigation around this part of the Bay of Islands – (looking south east towards Waikare Inlet, Opua is round to the west),
and consider the who and when at the arrival point at the quarantine jetty in Opua – (Pine Island on the left of the picture).
The subjects betray the interests of the photographer.
Whether it is ‘Aorere’ on the hard in ‘Doug’s Opua Boatyard’,
or this delightfully sturdy cutter waiting on his jetty,
or the ports of origin of the yachts in the marina and the set-up of their rigging for the long voyage . . .
and then deciding to check out the chandlers.
The pace of a walk allows pause for detail, albeit purely visual detail for this post. I could have recorded the sounds and didn’t. And maybe one day we will be able to supply the smells and the temperature/climate too. But they will never be a substitute for being there in person – and, surely, walking aside, “sailing to the Bay of Islands” will always be an especially worthwhile challenge.
Thank you Webb for the memory.
Opua: walked – Webb Chiles
(Images by Bill Whateley)