One of the best things about living in the Bay is having the water right on our doorstep.
We take it for granted that the beach is just a walk or short drive away and think nothing of enjoying a stroll on the sand after work, or fish 'n' chips at sunset watching the waves roll in.
It's a standing joke in the newsroom that when reporters are tasked with asking locals what they like most about living in the Bay, the first words out of their mouths are "the beach" or "the Mount".
While Auckland Anniversary Weekend brought with it beautiful weather for locals and visitors to enjoy these natural assets - it also brought heartache.
Fisherman Benn White, 26, died while lone-line fishing with friends at Rogers Beach near Otamarakau on Sunday night.
Today we talk to his friends and family who paint the picture of a fun-loving young man who certainly made the most out of living in the Bay.
Twenty-four hours after the tragedy a 52-year-old man went missing after his boat capsized at Bowentown Heads.
The man was fishing with his 15-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter, seven-year-old grandson and a 14-year-old friend of the teenage boy. All of the children made it safely to Matakana Island.
Searchers will today scour the shoreline for the missing skipper while his family and friends face the anguish of not knowing.
All of these tragedies are horrific for those involved and their families.
Last year eight people drowned in the Bay of Plenty, an improvement on a toll of 13 in 2011, but still eight too many.
Water Safety New Zealand is urging children to learn swimming and survival skills and men to upskill.
Everyone should be able to swim 200m and stay afloat for 10 minutes minimum and Kiwi men need to lose the "she'll be right" attitude and make water safety a priority.
Waikato police Sergeant Warren Shaw told media reporting on the search in Bowentown yesterday the situation would have been "very different" had lifejackets been used.
"It's hard in a tragedy like this. The family are really feeling it but it's important [wearing lifejackets] and we keep on seeing situations like this," he said.
Both incidents are a reminder to all of us to treat our treasured coastal environment with the respect it deserves.