May 3, 2009—We have spent the last week provisioning for food, taking care of banking, eye glasses, fuel, propane, and all those other little tasks that need to be done before heading out for the season. Marsden Cove Marina is about 25 miles from Whangarei so we had to rent a car in order to go back and forth.
Today is Sunday, and we have spent all day preparing to leave in the morning. Several boats left this morning, but we just could not be ready to leave until tomorrow. I needed to do laundry because I probably won’t see a washing machine for awhile, and the boat needed to be organized and made ready for the ocean. The weather looks pretty good, so we will keep our fingers crossed. It is definitely getting cooler because we have been running our heater almost every morning for the past week.
Yesterday was nasty--it rained and blew all day long. It was quite dreary, and we were forced to stay on the boat all day; however, because it was our 15th anniversary, we did go to dinner at the Shoreline Bar and Brassier, which is an excellent restaurant. The chef creates delicious meals at very reasonable prices. Steve had Rib Eye steak with mashed potatoes with a mushroom and blue cheese gravy, and I had tuna with potatoes and capers in a delicious sauce—both meals were exceptional, and we had a lovely evening. This restaurant is the best thing about Marsden Cove Marina.
We hope to be able to go into Minerva Reef on our way to Tonga; however, if the sea swell or wind is from the west, we will have to pass it by and continue on to Tonga. We can always stop at Minerva on the way back to New Zealand next year.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in New Zealand and look forward to returning next year. Now, however, it is time to see some other places in the South Pacific. We will post our position on Yotreps. You will find the link at the bottom right if you care to follow our travels this season.