Under clear skies and near-perfect seas the custom built ‘Hauraki Express’ departed Omaha Harbor for the Mokohinau Islands. Blasting out past Ti Point at 26 kts we settled in for the hour plus transit past the Jurassic Little Barrier Island ,which serves as an alternate dive site should the forecast be out. The Sea North of Little Barrier lies outside the Jellicoe Channel and therefore exhibits it’s own forecast. Predictably this slowed us down a touch, but within sight of the Island group, its an easy journey. A quick circumnavigation around the Northern Group and the Burgess Island lighthouse, before settling into our 1st dive site. In an almost Asiatic cove of vertical rock rising from clear turquoise waters, the divers prep, plan and enter.
Hemmed in on three-sides, navigation is simple with a short swim to the nearest wall before descending under glassy waters to a rocky bottom. Sloping deceptively fast, the kelp covered rocks meet patches of sand and broken shell at 25 meters and continue beyond. Careful management of depth is required here, but is a suitable for novice divers.
With an absence of current, an easy navigation back to the boat and safety stop under a DSMB brought all divers back to the boat for a lite lunch under the sun.
Dive 2 was a 5 minute motor away to an inlet off Burgess Island. A slight current pinned our divers into a cove, sheltering them from the open sea and a lazy swell came and went with the turning of the tide. Schools of Demoiselles and Blue Maomao shepherded our divers along the rock walls. Again – without angst of navigation our divers slowly zig-zagged the cove in ascending depths to surface meters from the boat.
The inevitable trash-talking began topside and a relaxed tear-down of gear, while an opportunity for some was taken for a snorkel break (read – ‘Toilet break’). Once all were packed and warmly dressed – we turned our boat from the Islands, and started the easy trek back to Omaha. A perfect day