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Still in Opua and loving it!

December 4, 2013

In the spirit of cruising we continue to change our plans. The 3 day stopover in Opua has turned into 6 weeks as we take advantage of excellent yacht services and check off some major boat projects. The riggers serviced our roller furling, fixed the boom vang, seated the mast, and tuned the rig. The sail maker recut our main to address furling problems and the outboard has been serviced. Brian has rebedded some ports and handrails that have been leaking and Sandie has gone through all of the storage compartments. Persephone is looking very ship shape.

We purchased a campervan in the southern part of the North Island. We rented a car and drove 400 miles to Napier where we spent the night. In the morning we inspected the van and purchased it before taking the two vehicles north. It was a tiring trip but we saw some beautiful country along the way. The van is akin to micro-RV with good gas milage; gas is over $8.00 USD per gallon!

One reason for staying in Opua was the week of festivities culminating the All Points Rally to New Zealand. It was a great opportunity to see old friends and meet many new ones as we attended informational seminars in the afternoons and ate barbeque in the evenings. The events were sponsored by local businesses with the intent of luring us into using their services and I have to say their mission was accomplished.

We took a day and visited the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi where the English and Maori tribes signed a treaty outlining how the two groups would live in harmony. Unfortunately, the English and Maori translations were entirely contradictory which led to years of fighting and a treaty which is still unresolved.

Thanksgiving (aka “Turkey Day”) was spent at the Cruising Club where a traditional turkey dinner was served accompanied by live entertainment. Of course we celebrated a day earlier than our friends back home that are east of the date line.

Last Monday we packed up the campervan and headed up to Cape Reinga on the north end of the island. It was a beautiful day and we took side trips to beaches and a kauri forest. We walked down to the lighthouse at the Cape and saw the Tasman and Pacific Oceans collide in a series of breakers. We camped along the coast and woke to a fierce rain storm which has lasted over two days. But the van was warm and dry and we survived just fine.

The weather continues to warm as we approach summer and acclimated to a latitude comparable to central California. The Kiwis wear sandals and shorts no matter what the weather and we are slowly catching on. The evenings are mild and we enjoy walks after dinner.

Brian’s sister Beverley will be joining us Saturday for two weeks. We will spend time cruising the Bay of Islands before slowly heading south to Whangarei where we will leave Persephone while we fly back to California for the holidays. When we return we plan to take the campervan to the South Island for six or seven weeks, but more on that later.

There are lots of sheep in NZ

There are lots of sheep in NZ

Deserted Henderson Beach on trip to the Cape

Deserted Henderson Beach on trip to the Cape

Sandie takes in the "energy" of the Kauri forest

Sandie takes in the “energy” of the Kauri forest

Turkey Day at the Cruising Club

Turkey Day at the Cruising Club

Lord Nelson is a tall ship for the disabled

Lord Nelson is a tall ship for the disabled

Hamming it up with the Maori at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Hamming it up with the Maori at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Part of a "friendly" greeting

Part of a “friendly” greeting

Traditional boat at Waitangi

Traditional boat at Waitangi

Talent night at the All Points Festivities

Talent night at the All Points Festivities

Steaks on the barbie

Steaks on the barbie

Auckland as we head south to buy the campervan

Auckland as we head south to buy the campervan

Shoreline walk from Opua to Paihai

Shoreline walk from Opua to Paihai

Ninety Mile Beach in a rain storm

Ninety Mile Beach in a rain storm

Micro-RV

Micro-RV

Cape Reinga lighthouse

Cape Reinga lighthouse

Long way from home

Long way from home

The Tasman and Pacific Oceans collide

The Tasman and Pacific Oceans collide

View from the Cape

View from the Cape

From → Travel

One Comment
  1. Dave Wong permalink

    Your Maori War Face is your best look yet.Although I think you need the accompanying Maori face tattoos to go with it,

    Let me know how I can reach you when you get back for the holidays. Drop by the shop on a Friday or something. Think everyone would like to see you.

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