From the White Island volcano, it was off across the Bay of Plenty to Great Mercury Island off the Coromandel Peninsula. The island is part of a group of islands only one of which, Great Mercury, is inhabited. Great Mercury is a private island owned by Sir Michael Fay – it is available for rent (at a very lofty price). We were most fortunate in that Joe knew John and Amie who were caretakers on the island.
Great Mercury is so named as a result of Captain Cook who stopped here in 1769 both to seek shelter and measure the transit of the planet mercury across the sun. Measuring the transit time from various locations was an important step in determining earth’s distance from the sun.
As for us, we were happy to arrive in the sheltered bay off the compound shortly before another blow was due. First a few pictures of our approach. The first is a picture of the cliffs on Great Mercury – over 1000 feet high.
The sun was setting as we dropped anchor.
And the next weather system was approaching.
The next morning, John and Amie were on the dock to greet us.
And this nice fellow stopped by with a fresh snapper.
A shot of Iron lady sitting at anchor – you can get a sense of the wind from the angle of the anchor rode.
From there, it was off on a day of exploration about the island.
This is a view of an area they have nicknamed Stonehenge.
Some nice views from around the island.
Our mode of transport – 4 wheel drive required.
Some happy campers.
And some shots from the top of the cliffs. The young folks here are troubled teens who were participating in an outward bound type experience camping out on the island for about a week. Part of the drill was to repel down the cliff face around 10 meters to a ledge to get the full sensation. We were offered a chance – no thanks!
After a long day of exploring, John, Joe and I went out for a bit of fishing – more on that next time. I’ll close with a shot of some cows who, for reasons unknown, seemed to like the top of this hill.