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Indulging in New Zealand

Time for a breather and to contemplate what next ? No, not really, the notebook was out; How can we spend time with Luke in Wellington over Christmas and then fit in a circumnavigation of the North Island and be back in Auckland for the start of the Americas Cup on 6th March.

Been back in Wellington over Christmas was totally different for me. Having spent years marching up and down Willis Street on route to government agencies, kitten healed and corporate suited, and always on a mission, I was now staying at Luke's lovely apartment, relaxed , jeans and t shirt with no mission critical agenda.

We decided to focus on painting the front room – no small mission but Luke had a great plan and taught us a thing or to about painting. The good thing was it enabled us to spend time together and reconnect. We both recognised that the last few years have caused us both to change, it made me realise how my youngest had grown up inot a talented young man, has his own agenda, a passion for his creativity and how difficult change had been for him. As Luke and I tackled the front room, John enjoyed building one of Lukes creations -a solid wood cabinet.

As Luke and I tackled the front room, John enjoyed building one of Lukes creations -a solid wood cabinet.

Christmas Day was a good day off painting and a glorious sunny day which enabled Christmas Lunch on the patio, (please note the size of Lukes Yorkshire puddings).

New year was spectacular for us. Wellington seafront hoseted live bands and fireworks. We spent New Years eve walking along the front in the sun listening to the practice eating Duck Islands is cream – yum.

In the evening we joined up with Anny ( old friend from Scotland) and partner Dave , who had a fantastic view from their apartment and enjoyed the entertainment both down at the front and then the fireworks from their apartment.

After a productive festive season we headed back to the Bay of Islands looking for a weather window to take us up around the Cape Regina and down the west coast of the North Island. Within days we were off.

The first few days around the north capes of NZ was spectacular in sight of land where the vast ness and empty space around the coast land of NZ is beautiful. Day three and we were offshore again – our happy space, the ocean at its best, relatively smooth, reasonable winds, good fresh fish for dinner, dolphins keeping us company at times and the occasion majestic awesomeness of whales.

Approaching New Plymouth the wind started to build and the next six hours we understand why the crossing from North to South Island is so notorious. True to is reputation it blasted out the cobwebs and Saorsa rode the building walls of water in style. Its one of the few times we were forced to hand steer as the short wave length and steep nature of the waves required some good helming.

Within 24 hours we were tucked away in a tranquil bay on the Abel Tasman coast. – just spectacular. Shorts and t shirt weather again, sunscreen hat and walking shoes and off we went to explore the beautiful coastline.

This even included some river crossing – very handy to have long legs… Johns first kwi river crossing.

In Nelson we hired Electric bikes – just fantastic for covering the miles and enjoyed the beautiful cycle track between Nelson and Mapua. We even went further to visit a few favorite wineries inland from the coast.

Now we are in Nelson waiting 48 hours while the raging gale passes through the cook straight before we go onto explore

the Marlborough sounds and then venture north again. We were also reminded of how we still make mistakes. Yesterday morning while at anchor, we were both thrown out of bed as the boat feel off its keel! The off shore breeze had put us onto a mid bank! thank good ness there is a 4m tide and within a few hours we were level again and no damage.

A lovely first few months back in NZ. The warmth and tranquility of the Bay of Island, a sea passage south down the west coast, some fabulous biking and walking and best of all reconnecting with Luke and his partner Nao in Wellington.

Next - northbound and the Americas Cup....