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Holidays in the USA

December 21, 2013

Brian’s sister Beverley joined us in Opua on Saturday Dec 7. We invited some friends over for drinks and to give her a boater’s welcome and we were treated to guitar and singing by Dianna and Ross from the yacht One White Tree. A beautiful start to a wonderful vacation.

Sandie and Bev spent Sunday exploring the local stores and chocolate factory and topping off our provisioning. Monday we fueled up and headed out into the famous Bay of Islands and anchored for the night in Paradise Bay. In the morning we had a good weather window and headed out to sea and north to Whangaroa Harbor where we anchored among tall granite peaks and cliffs with lush greenery. A gorgeous spot with lots of fresh oysters!

The next day we backtracked to the Cravelles, a set of islands off the coast of New Zealand’s north island. We anchored in a protected bay with a large crescent beach and enjoyed hiking and relaxing for the next few days. Brian went scuba diving and returned with nice red snapper for dinner.

We headed back to the Bay of Islands and anchored in Whale Bay where Brian went up the mast to check out an instrument problem. The view from the top was exhilarating.

The next day we headed out of the Bay of Islands and south around Cape Brett with its distinctive marine arch. We caught a kingfish as we entered Whangamumu Bay and anchored just off the remains of an old whaling station. Brian went diving in the morning and caught a big lobster that we served along with steaks. Meals aboard Persephone tend to be superb.

We spent another night coming down the coast before rounding Marsden Headlands and checking into Marsden Cove Marina where we had very lengthy hot showers. We arose early to catch the incoming high tide for the trip up the narrow channel to Whangarei. We cleared the new bridge in downtown Whangarei before entering the Town Basin Marina and docking at the slip we have reserved for the season.

We enjoyed two days of dinning out while preparing Persephone for our extended absence. Friday morning we locked up the boat and drove into Auckland for a little sight seeing. The highlight (literally) was the Sky Tower where we had an elegant lunch as we watched fools traverse a narrow catwalk 722 feet above the street without a hand rail! Then we were off to the airport for the flights home; Bev to Los Angeles and us to San Francisco. We arrived to the welcoming arms of our grandson Caeden.

We will spend the holidays in California and head back to New Zealand on January 20 for a land trip to the South Island.

Beverley arrives in Auckland

Beverley arrives in Auckland

Welcome aboard festivities with live music

Welcome aboard festivities with live music

Tall ship in Bay of Islands

Tall ship in Bay of Islands

Shucking oysters for an appetizer.

Shucking oysters for an appetizer.

"..., red skies at night sailor's delight."

“…, red skies at night sailor’s delight.”

Red snapper for dinner

Red snapper for dinner

Yahtzee tournament

Yahtzee tournament

Beach landing in the Cavelles

Beach landing in the Cavelles

Tide pools in the Cavelles

Tide pools in the Cavelles

Hiking in the Cavelles

Hiking in the Cavelles

Troubleshooting an electronics problem at the top of the mast.

Troubleshooting an electronics problem at the top of the mast.

The view from the masthead

The view from the masthead

The arch at Cape Brett

The arch at Cape Brett

Kingfish in Whangamumu

Kingfish in Whangamumu

Exploring the remains of a whaling station

Exploring the remains of a whaling station

Bringing home dinner

Bringing home dinner

Beach combing

Beach combing

Steak & lobster

Steak & lobster

Rounding Marsden Headlands

Rounding Marsden Headlands

Downtown bridge in Whangarei

Downtown bridge in Whangarei

Bev was a monster at dominos

Bev was a monster at dominos

Sky Tower in Auckland

Sky Tower in Auckland

"Jumper" off the Sky Tower

“Jumper” off the Sky Tower

Foolish people on the catwalk 722 feet above the street

Foolish people on the catwalk 722 feet above the street

Caeden welcomes us

Caeden welcomes us

From → Travel

One Comment
  1. Yvonne Miller permalink

    Dear Sandie
    It was great to see you today. Perfect timing as I said I am retiring next week. I just read a few of your entries about your new life and am in awe. Congratulations on living the life you wanted. I look forward to reading future stories and going back to read about where you have been. Happy 2014 to you and Brian

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