Auckland at Last!
November 15, 2002
was fun and mostly warm, at least in the daytime, since it's in the
subtropics. We had more reunions with our cruising friends, toured the
vacation towns nearby, and relaxed for a few days. Ken and Cathy needed to
get back to Auckland, so they rented a car and headed south while we readied
Raven for the short trip to Auckland. It's not far, only about 120 miles by
sea, but we wanted to take our time and see at least a couple of anchorages
on the way.
rounding the same Cape Brett light that had greeted us on arriving in the
Bay of Islands, we cruised the gorgeous coast to a little hole-in-the-wall
(welcome to NZ's Maori place names!). Signe and I stayed in the hotel up on
the top of the cliff in 1997, when we spent a month sailing and driving
around New Zealand. We wondered at the time if we would ever be back in our
own boat . . . and here we are! We hope to spend more time later in our
cruise of Kiwi-Land.
overnight stop in Kauwau Island, sort of a Newport, R.I. for wealthy
Aucklanders, gave us a chance to stop at Kauwau Island YC, a yacht club
cleverly disguised as a pub! Still, the pub food was good enough and the
TV had the latest America's Cup races, so we were happy.
day, it was on to Auckland and Bayswater Marina. And what a welcome we had.
It was a boisterous race day for the America's Cup teams, and our path was
right through the race courses, happily a few hours early. The Cup boats
were being towed out to the course, though, and it was exciting to finally
see some of them up close. Impression: they're BIG but look amazingly
delicate compared to the husky cruising boats we're used to.
arriving in Bayswater -- which is nicknamed "Blowswater" by the locals, for
reasons which soon became clear -- in Auckland Harbor's signature heavy
southwesterlies. One of our friends had scratched his boat trying to get
through the pilings in a 40-knot crosswind. Happily, we had "only" 20 knots
or so, and got into our slip ("berth" here) with little trouble. Raven is
now securely tied to the dock and will remain there for a few months.
the week or so we had left before flying home for Thanksgiving, we managed
to pack in quite a bit: getting our NZ visas and visitor permits (total of 8
hours standing in lines at Immigration), borrowing a car from our
ever-helpful friends Bjarne & Lise, opening a bank account, visiting the
America's Cup team installations, and on and on. Friends of Bjarne and Lise
even took us for dinner at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron so we could
see the Cup. Jan also visited the boatyard and rigging companies he has
selected for Raven's refit this summer in NZ.
Home for the Holidays, visiting family and friends on both coasts, and
experiencing a Tacoma winter again! We'll probably be happy to get back to
the (relative!) warmth of Auckland.
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