Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year

I woke up too early by the noise of the engine and the call to lift the anchor…after getting into bed with my clothes on and sleeping into the New Year! We left Russel, and explore the Bay of Islands. Our first stop :

We anchored next at an island called :

 and while everyone was sleeping, the boys and I took the dinghy to the beach. We were invited by the white freshly shaven sheep, among the green pastures, and we ran and rolled in the green grass. The boys chased after the sheep, running up and down the hills! It was wonderful to be touched by Earth.

Late that afternoon we lifted the anchor again, and were off to Great Barrier Island, some 80 miles from the Bay of Islands. We decided to sail the night to be there early morning. We passed the dolphins playing among the boats, and were heading for the open water again.

Carole and Joe
Soon we were in strong wind and swells crashing down on Andando, and Johan and Joe were in for a rough night. We were all glad to see the tinge of the sunrise on the horizon, but it didn`t last for long. The day was grey and dark clouds filled the sky, and an ice cold wind was cutting through bone. It felt a little like a wintery day in Cape Town. As soon as we dropped anchor just after 07h00, we went for a warm shower and couldn`t wait to get to bed! But three hours was enough and after a light snack we were off to land. our way to some bay, we anchored at Port Fitzroy for food. After the Quarantine people confiscated a lot of our stuff, we needed a bit. A little shop up the hill gave us chicken and frozen bread, and we were good for another day! The weather was miserable, and although New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful, she made sure I won`t fall in love with her. She stayed cold and grey and windy…

We had a quick stop at a little camping spot while sailing to other anchorages, and the women were doing the washing. Just look at the tumble dryers! When is the last time you saw one?

We walked the most beautiful forest, enjoying the kauri trees towering above us. We spotted the Tui bird fluffing its feathers and giving its cry. We saw the old catching dams which they build to transport the huge kauri logs. The fern trees, silver ferns and many more greens were enveloping us in this forest. We enjoyed the hanging bridges and walked and climbed about 10 km. It was a good introduction into the real world again…soft. Our muscles were aching after almost three months, but it was such a good ache!

Early the next morning after a night of playing cards with Peter and Carole, we were on our sailing way again. The wind died down and the sea was flat, and we sailed to Kawau. The sailing scenery is spectacular, and hundreds of sailing boats, motor boats, big and small are sailing around. Living in NZ, is not possible without a boat!

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