Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Zealand

We made it!! After eight days at sea we arrived in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand. As the sun rose on a Sunday morning we made our way to the huge and busy customs dock in Opua, a small village in the southern part of the bay. Opua consists of a restaurant, general store, a huge marina and every kind of marine or boat repair business. We were greeted on the dock in the morning by our friends on Robin's Nest and Rasa Manis. All together we finished our celebratory New Zealand beers just time for 8am when the immigration and customs officers arrived for work to check us in to the country. This morning was a huge celebration as this passage to New Zealand may not be our longest but it was certianly the one that caused us the most worry. The weather gods smiled upon us however, and we all knew this as many other friend on boats were still out there and the seas had turned tempestous. Within and hour of the check in,we were tied up in the marina and we were headed for long hot showers in the modern marina bathrooms. As you will notice in the photos below, it is cold here. It is still spring and for a bunch or yachties who have been in the tropics literally for years, it was fleece and beanies time. You will notice from the photos how gorgeous it is here. A little bit of Maine mixed with Northern California. After some rest and many celebrations with fellow arrivals we took a weekend trip three whole miles over to the quaint little town of Russell. Once known as the "hell hole of the Pacific", Russell has a long history of whaling and debauchery. Not so now. It is one those adorable little seaside towns full or art galleries and gourmet food stores. The view from the top of the hill was awesome!
Moorings at the Opua marina

The General Store and Bluewater Restaurant. The only game in town but excellent food.
Celebrating with Chris, Poki and Lucie

Another party with Irie and Robin's Nest!

The scenic overlook in Russell


Anonymous said...

Hey Guys, Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.The pictures look great and I hope to see you both when you return to the States for a few days. Maybe we could go to a shopping mall and hang out !!! Your Bro !!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark, I was reading about Minerva reef and came across another boat making the same voyage to New Zealand. They said the trip was like "a dog crossing the freeway" what with all the weather patterns you have to put up with.What kind of dog are you? Your Bro !!

Anonymous said...

Hello and Happy Holidays!!!!!!!
Let us know when you are coming home so we can make plans for a visit!! New Zealand looks beautiful and is a place we can consider for a visit to see you guys!!Love you 4th Sister

Christy Schabacker said...

Hey Mark & Liz, Happy Holidays! Awesome photos! It seems like you're always on an adventure. I hear that you both are coming for a visit in the Spring - would love to see you both - and want to know if I can come visit you in the summer? I am a teacher and have the summers off. May I please???

Love Mark's 5th sister, Christy

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz- Thanks for the postcard... looks amazing and I continue to really enjoy your photos/blog. It was 5 degrees here this AM so I really appreciated all the lush, green trees, hillsides, and plants!

I tried to email you but your email address didn't work. Do you have a new address?
Tonya Faundeen

Anonymous said...

Hello Mark and Liz,
All is well in Virginia,
New Zealand looks devine!!
Let us know when you might
be coming stateside.
Love and miss you,
Shawna, John, Margaret Anne
and General