So everything is ready to go now, including the weather forecast! We are aiming for a departure tomorrow - Wednesday, May 29. That means all of us: Namani and what seems like dozens of other boats who have also been waiting for a sane weather window. We expect light winds and some motoring in the first part of the passage, then decent 15-20 knot E/SE winds. We might make a short layover in Minerva Reef after about a week if northerly winds kick in from a front coming off New South Wales at that point; when it swings around again, we would set off for the final stretch to Fiji.
10 - in New Zealand
You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave...
That's kind of the feeling we have right now. Lovely as New Zealand is, we thought we'd be in Fiji by now. Admittedly, this is our own fault, since we keep waiting for a better weather window - and waiting, and waiting. On the other hand, we are pretty content here for the time being and see no reason to take an unnecessary thrashing at sea.
We actually thought weâd be leaving New Zealand about two weeks ago, but we still havenât found a weather window to our liking. So here we are, still in the Bay of Islands, enjoying the quiet life at anchor in this beautiful place. Weâre looking forward to Fiji and even the passage (once we get our sea legs, that is), but meanwhile weâre in no rush to leave this wonderful place, even if fall is definitely making itself felt.
After our return from Auckland we headed out to Urupukapuka Bay on Friday (26APR). This is perhaps our favorite spot in the Bay of Islands and the weather cooperated to provide a beautiful setting there again. Our friends from Victoria had just dropped their hook a few hours ahead of us and we were happy to see them again.
Beth and Nicky had a great time early this morning using the little grass slope in front of Beth' house in Devonport as a mudslide. We had driven down to Auckland yesterday (Wed, 24APR) for a farewell get-together with our friends from Sea Bright before we'll leave NZ for warmer latitudes further north soon. It had rained quite a bit since mid day yesterday, so the conditions were perfect for the mudslide...
Namani got back into the water on 08APR after 4 days on the hard. Nicky was still attending the local Opua school for that week, so we stayed on a mooring for a few more days. This turned out to be a good thing as we re-discovered a pesky little leak somewhere on the port side of our deck (we had washed off the deck with copious amounts of seawater after the launch and then noticed some water on our port side shelves).
So why isn't Nicky in the picture, you ask? While Markus and Nana work on the boat, Nicky is attending nearby Opua Primary School for a week. It seems a very friendly and accommodating place - as evidenced by the fact that they accept short-term guests! Nicky has been enjoying it so far and has good timing - sports day is coming up soon! He mentioned two noticeable differences to school back at MIS: first, he says it's more relaxed in terms of the daily schedule (with more recess time, he happily reports), and second, it's a very small school of about 60 students.
On our way back from the South Island, we spent a fun night with our friends from Sea Bright in Devonport and a morning at the Auckland museum to wrap up Nickyâs school unit on Art and Culture. It is great to have this much time in NZ to see our friends a lot more often than we would be able to do from Europe! Then we headed back to the airport to pick up Nanaâs Mom who flew all the way from New York for a week long visit.