We covered some of this ground in an earlier post about New Zealand weather (Weather or Not to Go), but I’ll throw some more pictures in here. The journey from Picton to White Island took us back out of Queen Charlotte Sound, across Cook Straight to Cape Palliser, along the coat to Castle Point and then around East Cape to the Bay of Plenty where White Island is located – a distance of some 500 nautical miles – just over 2 days at our normal cruising speed. You can get to that post by clicking here.
We took a pretty significant beating with gale force winds and opposing seas on the way up the coast – fortunately it didn’t last long and most of the trip was benign.
Leaving Queen Charlotte.
Some views along the coast.
Sunrise the morning after the blow.
Deb enjoying a nice day on the flybridge reading (OMG) Fifty Shades of Grey.
The aftermath in the dink – those fuel tanks were full and they were tossed around like ping pong balls – we are now adding stops to keep them in place.
A few sunsets.
And dawn as we approached White Island.
Now I am actually going to break White Island in to a few posts as it was unlike anything I have ever experienced.
Yup – White Island is an active volcano out in the middle of the Bay of Plenty.
White is an andesite stratovolcano – which for us lay folks translates to a tall, conical volcano composed of many layers of igneous rock. White Island rises some 1000 feet above sea level but that is just the above water portion. The volcano actually rises some 5300 feet from the surrounding sea bed.
The volcano has produced both ash and lava flows but during our visit, the activity was primarily steam, sulfurous gasses, fumaroles and boiling mud. As recently as July and August of 2012 (we were on the island in April) there were signs of increased activity and minor eruptions of ash. In point of fact, we noted sudden changes in the behavior of the volcano and it did make us uneasy. The central crater is presently a boiling lake of mud, water and sulphur.
To give some perspective to the scale of things, that is Deb slightly below the center of this picture.
More on White in the next post, but I’ll leave you with a few more shots.