Mercury Bay to Cape Reinga: Peter Elliott travels from Mercury Bay to Thames and then up to Auckland on two historic boats and discovers why preserving such heritage vessels is so important. In Auckland, (the site of which, James Cook sailed right past), Peter investigates the roots of New Zealand yacht building and racing and has a spin on an America’s Cup yacht. He then boards the New Zealand Navy warship Te Kaha for a high speed trip to the Bay of Islands. At Opua, Peter boards the tall ship R Tucker Thompson and sails up to the Cavilli Islands where he dives down to the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior. Next morning Peter jumps aboard the ketch Ranui for the trip to North Cape.
Captain’s Log Ep 3
Cape Reinga to Lyttelton. After rounding Cape Reinga, Peter sails down what Cook called the ‘desert coast” and crosses the dangerous Kaipara bar before a rough ride further down the west coast of the North Island and across Cook Strait to Queen Charlotte Sound on board the Te Aroha a sailing monohull built in 1909. He rests up at Ships Cove, one of Cook’s favourite anchorages, discovers the little-known spot where James Cook first saw Cook Strait, and learns about the history of whaling in the Marlborough Sounds. He then boards the Quik Cat ferry in the fog back to Wellington in time to catch a container ship for Lyttelton.He stokes the boilers of the classic steam tug Lyttelton before boarding the huge oil tanker Kakariki to continue his voyage south.