Wednesday 27 January 2021

Not spying but flying

With thanks to Waiheke Wings

Today I should have woken up in a boutique cottage overlooking the Bethell's Beach black sands, and then pottered around various arty places en route to Matakana - sculpture, modern Maori art, pottery - and finished up by having a nice dinner out before retiring to a spacious garden villa overlooking a vineyard. But a rogue Covid occurrence in the community (a post-negative test flare-up of the South African variant) has put paid to that famil for the time being, so instead I went up on a spyplane, with Waiheke Wings.

Well, not really a spyplane, since we weren't hiding - but we were going to observe from above the America's Cup yachts having a practice ahead of this weekend's racing. So we took off from the grassy airfield here on Waiheke, puttered (it was a 4-seater Cessna) along the coast and over sundry scattered islands to Rangitoto's brooding bulk. 

There we should have been able to see the yachts skimming over the water on their foils - except there was no wind, so that scheme was, er, foiled. Shame. All we could see was one yacht (possibly American Magic) with not even its sails up.

But it was lovely anyway, flying over the turquoise sea, dotted with other boats, and the sandy beaches of the North Shore, and then the city, bridge, marina and ferries. We moseyed back along past Mission Bay, St Heliers and Musick Point. 

Then we flew the length of Waiheke again, with its real contrast between the populated west and the empty east, and its clear focus on farming wine, oysters and mussels.

I had some of the former afterwards, plus a delicious baked Brie, at Thomas's Bach near the airfield, as consolation for not having had the hoped-for America's Cup flurry. And then we headed home again, to hide from the sun on this blistering hot day.

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