We cruised across the bay to historic Russell which was long ago known as the Hell Hole of the Pacific due to rowdy whalers and drunken sailors! We explored the Christ Church of 1836, the country's oldest church that is scarred with musket and cannonball holes from an 1845 battle.
Then we continued onwards...
Lainey and Tim - here we go!
...and anchored in a protected cove of Roberton Island (S35°14.019' E174°10.130') - also known as Motuarohia Bay - where a large tour boat joined us and we could see that a wedding was taking place on the top deck. We dinghied to the beach and hiked through grass flats and native forests to the top of the hill's great view where we watched as the wedding party also came ashore for memorable photos.
Wedding party on beach at left, Sea Turtle in front, tour boat on right
Lainey on stairs returning to beach
Back at Sea Turtle, we were treated with the frolics of dolphins! Lainey was ecstatic as this was her first sighting of dolphins in the wild. We all wanted to swim with them but alas they were not quite close enough and were swimming away and not towards us. Perhaps next time...anyone for a cocktail?
PLEASE come closer (photo courtesy of Tim)