Mudslides and ANZAC Day
Opua, Bay of Islands
Spending the South Pacific cyclone season in New Zealand
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...
The visit also gave us a chance to watch Devonport's ANZAC Day's parade today. The day primarily honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought for Britain at Gallipoli in Turkey during WWI (25APR was the day of the first landing of ANZAC troops at Gallipoli). We had heard from Australian friends back in Germany a few years ago how big this event looms in Australian and New Zealand history. Attending the parade and the commemorative service today made us understand a bit better what they had meant and just how important this seems to be to both nations. As a NZ Royal Navy Commander remarked during a speech, it is not about commemorating a military victory or loss (the campaign was a disaster for the Allied side), but about individual courage and suffering by fellow countrymen. Strikingly (for us outsiders) not only the New Zealand and Australian national anthems were sung but also "God Save the Queen" (despite the fact that a significant portion of the losses incurred by ANZAC troops can apparently be attributed to the questionable British tactic of having troops advance over open ground into enemy machine gun fire).
On a more practical note, the trip to Auckland also served as a final provisioning run since we needed to rent a car anyway. On the way down it was the usual "boat stuff" we needed to top off on. In addition to the "3s" (sealant, solvents, sandpaper) this included oil/fuel filters, a spare fuel pump, heat shrink, and other bits and pieces that we deemed more easily (and cheaply) available here than "in the islands". The way back up north today then was about food stuff - having us leave the Pack & Save in Whangarei with NZ$ 700 worth of provisions. That should last us until Australia hopefully...
Now we plan to slip our mooring here tomorrow and head back out to one of the anchorages to finish out last boat jobs before departing New Zealand