Arriving in New Zealand at the Bay of Islands,
and finding ourselves alone on the empty 'Q' dock in Opua (until the morning, when we waited in line with 7 other boats to clear in)
Twenty four hours before our arrival, the wind finally returned in earnest and we were able to arrive respectably with full sail flying. Instead of Whangarei like last year, this year we arrived at Opua in the Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands is soooo pretty and weaving our way into the tranquil bay from the boisterous sea was just magical.
[Maryanne]Just as Kyle was enjoying sailing again, I asked him to slow down. I didn't want to arrive too early in the evening at the Quarantine dock and risk being cleared in and booted off. I figured it would be best to arrive just after they finished (before sunset) and spend the evening relaxing and recovering from the trip - and for free - and be ready to make the most of the marina and neighbouring facilities the following day. Poor Kyle wasn't so keen to slow down, but he obliged.
The passage to New Zealand was significant a very unusual way - a milestone reached! We clocked just over 1 year of sailing hours with Begonia (in 321 'trips' according to the logbooks). Since we've owned Begonia since June of 2012, that means we've been sailing over 26 hours a week since the purchase. In that statistic are some extremes: with some of that time has been spent stuck at the dock with only a rare weekend sail (e.g. in San Fransisco Bay), and some of the time spent underway for days on end (e.g. the 46 day passage to Chile). Whatever the event, a milestone of any kind is always a time to reflect on our own past achievements. It also means our 'average' sail is 27hours and 23 minutes long (for each trip), that still blows my mind!
Like any passage, we are happy to be 'there'. Since our last visit to NZ was primarily a haul out and yard visit prepping the boat for the passage to Chile - this time we plan to enjoy and explore!