We were picked up by Topdeck at 11am from Mecure Auckland which is on the wharf. Our tour leader was the same as last year’s being Dan.
We left Auckland at 12noon and hit the holiday traffic straight away. It took us 5hours to get to Paihia.
Paihia was our place for the bay of islands but for those of us that booked Rock the Boat there was no stopping to check it out. We were straight off the bus and onto Pebble the mini Rock.
Rowan our captain was quick to help us on board and the staff were excellent.
We were shown our quarters. I was allocated a top bunk which I couldn’t even sit up on.
Once we had settled in it was time for introductions and a game of paintball (It was more like shoot the duck!).
We then had a bit of a fish before dinner and a few people were lucky enough to catch some baby fish.
We were by this stage anchored in one of the many bays, of the 145 islands. This was where we would spend the night.
We killed time getting to know each other and eating our red meat feast, cooked by the crew. We were then given our orders to put our swimmers on.
We stepped back on deck with as little clothing as possible on a starry fresh night. We were put into kayaks and told to follow as we paddled and got further away from the boat the water lit up with phosphorous. We paddled in circles for 20 minutes lying under the stars. We even saw a few shooting stars. On return to the boat a few game ones jumped into the water with the Captain.
We rocked ourselves to sleep at around midnight when the house boats generator was turned off.
We had a cereal and porridge breakfast as we moved on to our next bay, where we would jump into the water for a snorkel. The water was cold but we persisted and swam away seeing a tonne of fish, some sting rays and some empty oyster shells.
We then landed at an island where we had a walk through the bush (which I highly recommend to wear shoes). We checked out the view and killed some time on the beach before heading back to the boat for sandwiches.
We spent the afternoon watching islands pass as we made our way back the mainland.
Once on the mainland I spent my afternoon strolling the street and checking out Woolworths (sorry I mean Countdown!).
Rock the Boat was a wonderful experience where we got to know one another and try plenty of new things. It was a good way to see how big the Bay of Islands is however I do feel that I didn’t really see anything at all.