Monday, December 26, 2011

Bay of Islands; hiking, birthday and Christmas

The Bay of Island continues to be great fun; lots of uphill hikes, beautiful vistas, fish catching, sunny sailing and loads of hanging out with family and friends.

Cape Brett light house and hiking trail

the hiking has been some of the beswt I've ever had!

Ca and his first deep sea tuna!

Beach combers

Britannia at anchor

My favorite tree

New Zealand coast, north island

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Zealand, Bay of Islands

After a week in the marina it was nice to get back out; off the dock and on the hook. The days have been rainier than what we would have liked, but it didn't keep us from exploring the beautiful islands in the bay and along the coast. Locals say that the weather has been cooler and wetter than normal. It feels like winter in Northern California to us; which is nice, because I haven't fully warmed up to the idea of Christmas in the summer.

We spent lots of time hiking the many well groomed trails of Roberton & Urupukapuka Islands and Whangamumu Harbor. We've even been able to go for a couple good runs (boy are we out of shape!)I've been crazy for collecting shells and little beach pebbles for beading projects. Krister brother, Janus, has been fishing and finding his sea legs. He's also the leader in finding shiny abalone shells. And Rick, his step-dad, has been enthusiastically reading Lonely Planet guide books and planning our car trip through the South Island. Krister's other brother, Forrest, will be joining us soon to do the car trip with us. When the boys fly home, my mom and cousin fly in, so it looks like we'll be staying busy visiting with famliy through January.

It's been interesting to have visitors aboard, to see through thier eyes how we first felt about sailing and Britannia. Fun to see how much we've learned and changed this cruising season. We used to think "oh we'll just fix that later" or "the quick and easy way is good enough." Well, like Karma, it all comes around in the end. Krister and I have come to embrace that whatever we put off will need to be done eventually so it might as well be sooner than later. To our surprise we've also become quite competent sailors. High winds and swell don't scare us like they used to do. We know what to expect when the weather forecasts 25 knots and 2 meter seas. We've learned ways to prepare and make ourselves more comfotable in rough weather; put in the reef, secure everything below deck, made meals before leaving the anchorage, pump the stinky galley sink, close the thru-hull in the head, have foulies and clothes ready in easy to reach places... and never leave before Amanda's ready ;)

So things are good... photos are coming...
Happy Holidays to all our friends and famliy!