Monday, 2 May 2016

Going downtown ! Fluenta goes to Auckland. Visitors, Easter Bunnies, Fish, Goodbyes and Maintenance.

After Great Barrier we went to Auckland to do some kiteboarding lessons and host Liz's parents onboard.

Liz's parents visit

And my cousin Caroline and her husband Jamie came for dinner

The Easter Bunny even found us in Auckland !

Meeting Grammy and Grandpa at the airport.

And Grampy is put straight to work on boat projects here with his able assistant
Off to Waehiki Island for a brief stay at anchor.  I went for a quick spearfish and shot a kawai which did fine for dinner.

Wendall and I replace the liners in the genoa furler but found out that the holes were oversized and the proprietary Profurl setscrews would not fit.  We of course then used the drill like a little lathe and made two of these little setscrews to put everything back together again.

Talking about big projects ...  After many hours of combing Liz managed to remove Johnathan's dreadlocks and he had his first haircut in five years.  

The hair heading to a charity.  Johnathan's on the top.  About 17" stretched out.

Benjamin remains a big help on boat projects. 

The lazerette is a bit tight for just me but it is rather tight with my assistant there too,

We had a bit of a road trip back up to Whangerei to see off our friends on Nirvana who are done cruising.  Victoria, of course, made two cakes.

Victoria, Gigi and Axel at Nirvana's going away party.

This was a neat idea: a slideshow of highights from Nirvana's cruise from a projector on Nirvana to the mizzen sail on Rewa.

It appears mandatory for every New Zealander to own at least one boat.  The massive Westhaven Marina behind us.

We are at the much more reasonable and very friendly Pier 21 Marina instead.

Shiny new Harken spinnaker halyard blocks.  One of the old spin blocks cracked so I have replaced them both.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Opua to Great Barrier - Big Kingfish, Bigger Orcas and a Nice Spinnaker Passage.

Fluenta waited patiently for on her mooring in Russel while we went off on our road trip.  On our return we moved to Opua for a few days to do a bit of maintenance (new alternators and regulator plus our long awaited rain enclosure - very nice).

We had a nice day sail into the Bay of Islands where we anchored in the same spot as over Christmas. This time however we mostly had it to ourselves.  There was some sort of photo shoot with two models on boards (which was pretty funny as they were not very comfortable on the boards) and then we had the place to ourselves.

The next day we had a nice light air sail mostly under spinnaker to meet up with Nirvana and Vareke on Great Barrier Island.  Not only did we have a nice overnight sail but on setting the anchor a pod of orcas came over to welcome us.  Despite being a bit foggy headed from the overnight trip, Gary, Nigel and I headed out soon after the anchor was down to go spearfishing.  A successful trip as all three of us shot fish - two nice kingfish for Gary and I and Nigel got a fish even though it was his first ever spearfishing trip.

The trip was also a great trial for our new rain enclosure especially sailing from Great Barrier to Auckland with the wind in the mid-20kts and rain.

Anchor chain markings ready for another season

Models doing a photo shoot.  I suspected they did not want me paddling over on my board. They had multiple video and still cameras plus the obligatory drone.

The anchorage to ourselves.  A bit different than at Christmas

A lovely spinnaker sail to Great Barrier Island

Dinner on Nirvana at Great Barrier.

My first kingfish. Gary estimated it weighed about 60 pounds.  We ate very well ...  

Orcas welcoming us into the anchorage as I set the snubber.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Big NZ Road Trip Photos - Pt 10 - North on North Island - One Legged Kiwis, Moreporks and Sand Surfing

The last set of photos from our six week road trip.  After Auckland we dashed to Cape Reinga on the northwest tip  of North Island.

But we had one important stop on the way - a return trip to the amazing Whangerei Native Bird Recovery Centre that Liz and the kids visited last year.  Robert and Robyn do an amazing job there and it was really nice to have Robert give us a personal tour.

Less coffee for the morepork.

This little penguin was brought in while we were there.

Baby Blue Penguin

Spark, the one legged Kiwi.

Benjamin is not so sure about Sparky but about a month later he started talking about how Sparky digs for worms. 

Sparky digs for worm.

The view to the west from Cape Reinga

Mandatory Family Photo

Cape Reinga

A lot of New Zealand to see from here to Bluff.


Hard to capture the height in the photos but look at the people below.

Brave mum.

More adventures in extreme nursing

Of course, anyone could do it lying down ...

Tasty sand.

Surfing ...

Never too young to start.

Of course, standing might be too easy too ... 

90 Mile beach and our great little van than has done us so well over two seasons and the length of New Zealand

How does it all fit ...