Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Opua, New Zealand

We set foot on land! Around seven we stepped off Andando, and we fastened her lines, and it was as if she let her guard down a bit. Quite emotional we hugged each other, knowing that we did this, we sailed Andando across the Pacific to her rightful and proud owner, Peter Windsor! We had a very good sail from Tonga and did the 1000 odd miles at an average speed of 6.5 knots.

Peter Windsor
 Still waking up way to early, after a night of no night watch, no listening to unusual sounds, no looking at the dark clouds bringing strong winds, no rolling around in a boat, I felt a tiny bit of energy seeping through my veins. But believe me, just a tiny bit.

Customs arrived around 10h00 on another grey day in Opua, New Zealand. We were tied up to the very yellow quarantine dock, only allowed to walk about 30 meters on a jetty, tightly locked away from anything and any one…leapers in a foreign country! The first unfriendly blonde came aboard, accompanied by a grandpa friendly elderly man. She inspected the boat papers and passports, and he entertained me, or did I entertain him, looking for incriminating food on Andando! He searched the fridge and freezer, for any meats and fruits and veggies and dairy products. And he asked me a couple of times for any seeds or beans .There will be a new species growing in their coastal waters soon with all the Brazilian beans I chucked away. Interestingly enough he allowed me to keep my products like milk and cereals and rice if it was from France or New Zealand.

We needed to fill up our water tanks, while little Marco was searching all the yachts for Liza and Adrian`s Two Ticks. And he found it! But they weren`t aboard.

Yacht Two Tics left in background
 We had to leave for Russel to pick up Peter`s friend, Carole, and we knew we are going to miss them.

While tying up to the water jetty, an umbrella was running and waving towards us! It was the small figure of Liza, and Adrian grabbing our lines! At last! So far away from all our people and we hugged and kissed each other like family! They left South-Africa a month before us, two young married people, and we never thought we`ll see each other again, and here we were hugging with watery eyes…

We said good bye after a short visit while the tanks were filling up, and we left for Russel for New Years! Slowly but surely Peter is trying his hand to Andando, learning her moods, her swings, her joys! Peter wanted to show us a piece of North Island (Bay of Islands, Great Barrier Island etc) on our way down to Auckland the next few days, all the bays and anchorages, and at first I couldn`t think of me sailing any more, but he and the beauty of the islands soon won me over.

Adrian and Liza promised to try and follow, and soon after anchoring, and walking this quaint little town, they found us at the Supermarket, buying peaches and apricots and a large packet of chips and I hugged a bottle of red wine for my New Year.

 Marco and I squeezed in a quick visit to the museum looking at the stuffed kiwi and Captain Cook`s little wooden boat, Endeavour. He sailed these waters three times on the lookout for Australia, only to find New Zealand. And I took a photo of the huge black pots, and we smiled about having a little ‘potjiekos’ soon. We still need to taste John's Oros Recipe Potjie from Yact of Africa one day !!! What or who was cooked in those two pots the last time?

We ended spending New Years on Andando, after sharing a beer in a restaurant.

I was feeding on the female company, and I realized how much I missed it to talk about hair and nails! To you all, live life in 2012!
Liza and Adrian (Yacht Two Ticks)
Marco, Carole and Peter

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