Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Good Times

Having beautiful days in the Bay of Islands!

Yesterday the wind was gusting into the low 30's. We even drug the anchor twice, once into the channel and once into the shallows. So we will be upgrading to the Rochna anchor which "never drags"

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean

This is where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet.  Had a great hike to the light house and enjoyed rolling around some huge sand dunes!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Beach Time

Enjoying some beach time.  We even practiced pushing it out of the ocean!

More photos to follow.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

90-Mile Beach -

Great day exploring 90 mike beach (which is only 55 miles long) on the north peninsula. We played on the beach, hiked to a lighthouse, picnicked in a park, climbed up and slid and ran down the dunes, and drove on the beach. Now camping in a cute little cabin in a campground where blankets cost extra, who knew? But it's perfect! Gives us a great sleep and launch place for tomorrow's exploration!! Free warm showers, so we should be in great shape!! Beautiful country!


So the time finally came. We headed up the coast in our little van to explore the "90 mile beach". Rumors are that you can only do it with a four wheel drive. But we were not easily dissuaded.

The beach is incredible! Hard packed sand with no speed limit. Basically vacant, and truly gorgeous! Unfortunately though not all the ramps to the beach were hard packed, so after driving an hour or so, we found that the exit that we hoped to take was deeply rutted and not passable without a 4x4 with high clearance. There was another option that a motorcycle stunt driver told us about. All we had to do was straddle some largish beach rocks. With some pushing, and building of a sand ramp we were all set.

Then there was the hotel. My expectation of a hotel room is that it has everything needed to get a good nights sleep. Well here you need to rent blankets, and sheets if you want them. It reminded me of the time we were in Italy and Vision ordered a pizza, but did not specifically request tomato sauce and cheese thinking that was standard. Can't take anything for granted!

We are loving this wonderful island, and looking forward to every day's adventure!



Valiant learned a new word today. Socks. He's never seen or worn them until today. We dug them out since it was cold and we were going to town in shoes. Real shoes, not flip flops or crocs. His got wet in the dinghy and he was telling me that his "this" got wet and kept pointing, so I gave him a name for those funny things on his feet. 3 years, almost 3.5 years without ever coming across socks. Atta boy!!

The pool at Bahia De Oro!

Halloween -

The thrift stores down here have great dresses! We are getting ready for trick-or-treat.

Loving it,

Vintage Railroad -

We took a ride on the vintage railroad today. It was a nice 20 minute ride, a picnic, and a ride back. The station was built in 1911 to replace the building that burned down. They have a steam engine that dates to 1927 and is the last one of it's class in the world. His name is Clyde. It made for a fun time to ride a train, see the countryside, and learn some NZ history! I hope the kids are enjoying home school as much as I am!

Quarantine -

For those entering NZ, the quarantine has lightened up! You can keep (commercially packaged) rice, oats, flour, dairy products (butter, milk, yogurt, cheese) , mayonnaise, quinoa, peanuts, and other things explicitly stated as NOT allowed. I discarded many, many things that you can keep!! You cannot have - honey, eggs, fresh fruits/veggies, meats, seeds (including popcorn), beans. Please share or pass on to people coming to NZ this year. It's so hard to plan when each place is different and rules keep "updating" after lists are published. On the upside, I made the day of a young couple on a boat in New Caledonia with over a year's supply of rice and beans and honey for only 2 people!!

After a few home improvements looking for live termites, we are given a partial clearance. There was no evidence of current or recent termite activity. They can board our boat at any time and look for termites. We have to tell them of any signs of termite infestations. Other than that, we are free to travel in New Zealand!! 

Today was a full day! 2 parks, a ride on a vintage railroad, a picnic lunch, and some warm clothes and Halloween costume shopping. Found the girls each a princess dress for $2 at a thrift store. Everyone's happy and exhausted!!