Winter is wind-time, at least in Northland. During our Surfari in August we definitely scored. Windy every day, a different spot to experience each day, tired and hungry in the evening – what more can you ask for?
Those arriving early on Friday afternoon did get rewarded with conditions that improved by the minute. Light and squally in the beginning, sunny and fairly strong later in the afternoon. Enough to give us a taster of what was to come over the next few days.
Saturday morning after breakfast the Water Nomads crew made its way over to Rangiputa, a 20 minute drive from our accommodation. We were greeted with sun and wind. Combined with the white sandy beach, everyone was eager to get on the water – only to discover after a couple of runs that the wind was picking up and most of us had to rig a smaller sail / wing. It was fantastic freeride conditions: Windy, but not crazy windy, reasonably flat water, sandy beach and no shore-break making getting in and out a breeze. The conditions seemed to get better and better throughout the day. Just a shame that we were all completely exhausted at 3pm and couldn’t hold on any longer!
A great dinner and an early night was what was needed to regain energy for the next day.
Sunday promised to be another windy day. As the wind direction was a bit more North, we decided to go to Coopers Beach, which is in spitting distance to our accommodation.
Richard and Jill were keen to get out with their wings early before it did get too windy. Next on the water was Simon with his 7m sail, hesitant if he should use the foil or the normal board. By then the wind started to pick up and William did get going more and more on the 6m Gator and the Severne Fox 105. Soon the whole Water Nomads crew was on the water, changing down sails and wings as the wind picked up. Early afternoon, the only ones on the water left were William with hands wrapped in bandages because of his blisters and Heidi, who had energy to burn as she started a bit later. Eventually they too had to stop because they couldn’t hold on any more.
Monday morning the winterless North greeted us with hail squalls and a freezing southerly wind. Still better than snow as in most other parts of the country 😉 Fortunately by 11am, our check out time, the weather started to clear, the wind picked up nicely, and the remaining crew made their way to Tokerau Beach. It was stunning to sit in the sun, sheltered from the wind between the cars and wait for the last squalls to disappear. The sailing was beautiful and not half as cold as we thought it would be.
Tuesday was a bonus day for William (who flew in from Dunedin) and ourselves: Great conditions to finally take the foils out for us less experienced riders!
Alas, all good things need to come to an end, and we had to leave Tuesday afternoon for the long drive back to Auckland. We are looking forward to our next Surfari to Northland in October!