On our way back from dinner in Leigh, we had noticed a dive shop advertising Goat Island Marine Reserve. This came highly recommended in the Rough Guide, so we went back to book a dive for Friday. Goat Island Dive’s boat was out of the water for its annual service and survey, but they agreed to take us out on a shore dive.
Meanwhile we continued our trip north. We had heard that it was possible to dive the Rainbow Warrior wreck. (In 1985 the “Rainbow Warrior” belonged to Greenpeace, who were leading a crusade against the nuclear testing being carried out by the French on the Moruroa Atole, less than 5,000 kms from New Zealand’s northern coast, and nearly 19,000 kms from Paris. Greenpeace organised a flotilla of protest vessels, but on the eve of their departure from Auckland, the Rainbow Warrior was sabotaged and sunk by the French Secret Service. The ship was re-floated and towed up to Matauri Bay, where it was re-sunk to form an artificial reef.)
We stopped for lunch on the way in a car park in Whangarai. Brigid made sandwiches … but failed to lock the fridge door afterwards. About 100 yards down the road, the door burst open, giving John the fright of his life, and scattering the entire contents all over the floor of the van. Oops!
We organised our dive for the following day, through the Matauri Bay campsite shop. Luckily we had bought enough food for dinner, as we discovered that the nearest restaurant was also closed except at weekends at this time of year.