Tuesday, November 27, 2018

On to Whangarei

[Kyle]The frontal rains of the last few days finally moved off into the ocean to the east, taking the associated winds with them. From Tutukaka, we had a slow sail all of the way down the coast to Whangarei Harbour, arriving at the entrance just as the ebb shifted to a helpful flood. We went up the Hatea River to the very last anchorage and dropped our hook for the night before heading to the marina in the town center the following morning. We were right by Norsand Boatyard, where we did our refit a year ago before heading off to Chile. We’ll be back soon and hopefully our list will be a lot shorter than it was then.

Views from our Tutukaka-Whangarei sail

In the meantime, we headed up to the marina and were assigned exactly the same slip we had been in the year before. The place was the same as we remembered it, but most of the surrounding boats were different. It was a little surreal. We were immediately welcomed by people from boats we've met through the year - it felt good.

We were in less of a hurry than last time, so we made a point of heading off immediately to walk the pretty waterfront paths and carve out a little time for some fun. We knew we would be busy enough when we were hauled out, so we stopped ourselves whenever we felt like we were getting too bogged down in haulout related planning and took a break for a walk and some time to appreciate our surroundings.

We also carved out time to spend both evenings with our South African friends Rob and Muzzi from Lalamanzi, who we had first met in Suwarrow and liked immediately. Ever since then, if we know they’re around, we always look forward to seeing them. We pretty much came to the marina before haulout because we knew they were there and they were about to leave to go explore the South Island by road. We didn’t want to miss them. Each night, we got to be on the boat from which peals of laughter rolled across the harbor. (Coincidentally, we were moored right behind another South African boat the year before: Jadean)

The time flew by far too quickly, though, and before we knew it, we were anchored in front of Norsand again, ready for the next day’s lift. The cool, clear morning turned into thunderstorms and a whole afternoon of rain in sheets. Maryanne prepared a big batch of “Anniversary Soup” to keep us warm (a recipe we got from a pub in Scotland on our seventh anniversary), and we spent the rest of the day getting ready for what is to come.

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