Friday, December 5, 2008

Keeping Busy in Whangarei

December 5, 2008—In three days we will be heading back to the states for the holidays so I wanted to post one more blog before we leave.

On November 28 we went on a river walk with sv Morning Light and sv Charisma. We drove about half way up to Whangarei Falls, dropped off one car, continued up to the Falls, and parked our car. The walk started at the falls and continued along the Whangarei River. The vegetation was lush and green, and because it was in the shade, it was a nice, cool, and relaxing walk. The walk also took us by kauri trees, which were harvested heavily in the old days to make furniture, bowls, cups, etc. The trees are large and very tall, and the bark has a mottled look.

We took one of the side trails that led up a hill and looked down onto another waterfall. Some young men had been repelling down a cable just before we got there. That must have been a thrill.

We spent about three hours completing the walk. When we got back to Chris and Jamie’s car, they drove us back up to our car. On the drive back to the boat, we were forced to stop for some ice cream. Believe it or not, it is the first ice cream we have had here in Whangarei. Steve and I are both a bit disappointed in the ice cream thtat is available here. We have yet to find really good ice cream, and the selection is very limited. There is no Baskin Robbins here.

Our newly galvanized chains and anchor came back on Monday. You can see from the picture how lovely the chain looks now, as does the freshly painted anchor locker. The work continues on the chain plates. A young man named Lance is doing a fine job for us. The other projects are all moving along well, and I think the boat will look very nice when we are all finished.

On December 3 we drove up to Tutukaka to join Rikki and Bruce Going at their home for another Thanksgiving dinner. Their boat name is sv Seagoing, and we met them in Vava’u, Tonga, this year. Rikki lived in New Mexico for 20 years, so we shared that bond, and, not surprisingly, she loves Hatch green chili. Scarlett O’Hara, Bold Spirit, and QuĂ© Barbara were also there. I made creamed corn with oysters and an apple pie. We also took a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. There was a huge amount of food, and we, of course, ate too much.

After the meal we took a walk down to the Tutukaka Marina. The bay is lovely, and we hope to stop here on our way back up the coast in April or May. After our walk we enjoyed dessert, and then it was time for us to drive back to Whangarei. It was a lovely day, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We are working hard to finish some of our small projects and get packed for the trip. We went to a second-hand store to pick up a large suitcase ($7 NZ or $4 US--what a steal!) so that we could get all our souvenirs back to the states and return to New Zealand with our boat parts. I just love hauling boat parts half way around the world!