November 12, 2008—We have been in Whangarei for a week now, and we are enjoying it very much. It is hard getting used to the cars driving on the left side of the road, and the other night, Dennis and Janet from sv Shilling, Gary, and Steve and I were all walking to have dinner at Amici Restaurant. I stepped off the curb, but Steve suddenly pushed me back because a car was coming that could have hit me. I told them all that I had survived crossing the Pacific Ocean only to be killed by a car in New Zealand. We are much more careful now—looking both ways twice before stepping off a curb.
Marcia and Jack on sv Tracen J arrived at the marina on Thursday, so we again went out to dinner at Dicken’s Pub. I could get used to this. We had seafood chowder and a pork roast, both of which were delicious. The best part was the apple pie for dessert—it was wonderful. We were all still pretty tired from the crossing, but we had a very enjoyable evening.
Ray Roberts Marina is a small marina about 10 minutes from downtown. You can see our boat just to the right of the power boat in the picture. Ray is very helpful and will be doing some of the boat work for us. The good thing about being here is that we have certainly gotten our exercise over the past few days as we find ourselves in town just about every day.
Town Basin Marina is closer to downtown and much larger as you can see from the picture. There will be many cruisers staying there as well. It has been fun seeing some of them after several months, and more will come in over the next month. Last night we went to have dinner at Reba's, which is a restaurant right at the dock. They had a cruisers' special of ribeye steak with potato for $10 NZ which is about $6 USD, and it was quite good.
Steve and I took off this past weekend and stayed in a motel for two nights. There was a hot tub, which made Steve very happy. We watched movies, took very long, hot showers, ate in town, and just relaxed for two days. It was nice to get off the boat and away from the clean up for awhile.
Our sails are off the boat and will be cleaned and inspected. Steve has also lined up some stainless steel work, as well as engine work. Our list is not too bad, and we keep working on it slowly. I have been doing a lot of laundry because everything got wet and salty. Luckily, there are washers and a dryer on the premises, so I don’t have to lug it into town.
The scenery here is lovely; however, the weather has been a bit cold and overcast. The locals all say that it is unusual for this time of year, so we hope that it will clear off in the next few days. We plan to take a drive up north to Opua to visit some of our cruising friends who are staying there, and we will, of course, continue on our boat projects.