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!