THE HAWKE OF TUONELA was based on a mooring off Opua in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands from 2003 to 2012.  An article I wrote about that mooring was titled, “The Best Mooring In the World,” though I did not claim it is the best, only that there are none better.  I found rare contentment there.

        I prefer being on a mooring rather than in a marina for many reasons:  space, light, privacy, quiet, ventilation, fewer insects, the exercise rowing ashore, and I just like having a moat between me and the world. 

        The mooring is the only ‘property’ I have ever owned--the condo is Carol’s--and I think you will agree that for less than $2000 I got million dollar views.

        Except for the two of HAWKE on the mooring, all the photos were taken from her there.  I have labeled many by direction.  The two of a sunrise were taken a few minutes apart.  I like how much the light has changed.  The two that appear to be black and white are in fact in color, though there is none.  And the color in the second photo of Pine Tree Island is natural not manipulated.  It was a sepia morning.

        A hundred years ago Pine Tree Island was bare and known as Plum Pudding Island, but then a man planted eight pine trees there, one for each of his children.

        The picture of the two people in the dinghy with a red sail reminds me of a painting by Renoir.

        When the Opua Marina, from which I had bought the mooring, learned that I had sold THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, they told me that if I was ever interested in selling it back, they would like to buy it.  They made a generous offer, which, not knowing when I’d ever return, I accepted.

        If I do sail GANNET to the Bay of Islands, I hope to rent it from them.

Clicking on a photograph will enlarge it.