Tuesday, November 14, 2017

First Few Days in New Zealand (before the Boat Yard!)

[Kyle]We'll have to plan to have fun in New Zealand next time.

Marsden Cove Marina - Friendly but way too far away from anything
We were too busy anyway so it didn't matter for a few days

We spent the rest of our week at Marsden preparing for the upcoming haulout. We had a stack of boxes waiting for us, all filled with all of the things we needed but could not get in the store, mail and internet desert that is the tropical South Pacific. When we started to run out of stuff we could effectively do in walking distance, we rented a car. This meant we arrived at the rental office clutching lists and bristling with armloads of empty bags which it would be our day's mission to fill.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel, though. We had plans to stay an evening with new friends: Dave and his wife Lyndon. We first met Dave in Bora Bora after he swam over to say 'hi' from Capistrano (the boat he was crewing aboard). We have since seen him and the others aboard Capistrano in Suwarrow and Tonga. When David learned we had arrived in NZ, he invited us to join him and Lyndon at their bach (pronounced batch) for the night.

Baches are a common thing in New Zealand. They originated as simple family summer getaway plots, akin to fishing camps or shacks, but over the years many have evolved into more comfortable accommodation with electricity, indoor plumbing and the like while still maintaining a theme of modesty, austerity and simplicity.

Dave and Lyndon's bach had been in the family for over a hundred years. Over time, it had grown into four rooms, all decorated with an eclectic collection of mismatched antiques that had been picked up here and there over the years, and bursting with memories and meaning. The place was trim and tidy and seemed to me to be THE perfect size for a couple (and with a guest bedroom). I'm not even close to thinking about it yet, but if we ever settle down, that would be exactly the type of thing we were looking for.

Dave and Lyndon were amazing hosts at their beautiful bach (pronounced 'Batch')
What a place to enjoy the views!

The best part was the view they had out the back. Across a putting green patch of lawn was a sweeping view of Urquart Bay and the entrance to Whangarei harbor. Way back when, someone got here early and staked out the perfect spot. It was marvellous to take a break and share a meal with good company as we watched the sun track towards the horizon across that view. We once again felt so strange to go so quickly from living in a floating tool shed to sipping wine whilst gazing out at the bay.

Views on the drive to Whangarei Head

The drive from Marsden Cove to the bach was about an hour - since we had to go around the full bay right to the other side - we could have dinghied across faster, but the views on the drive were well worth it!

Our night was over far too quickly and we were up early to make the best use of the car before we had to return it. We unloaded the car into several carts. It sprung up four inches. Begonia sank about a third that much when our haul was transferred aboard. We didn't have time to stow everything before we had to untie and make our way up the river to Norsand Boatyard. They can only haul boats at high tide and we couldn't be late.

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