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New Zealand, March 22nd - April 16th  2007   by Dagmar


Auckland, March 22nd  2007

On March 22nd, early in the morning we arrived at Auckland International Airport coming from Perth/Australia. My in-laws, Ernst and Joke, were picking us up with their camper van, they rented one already 2 weeks ago traveling around the North Island. We spent the morning in Auckland with our friends Emily, Nigel, Sophie and Dom, leaving for Whangarei in the afternoon. After 3 month we were back on our boat "LUNA" again. That felt really good.

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Whangarei, March 23rd - 30th  2007                                                                           

Already one day later we went out of the water in Dockland 5. We did antifouling at the underwater ship and some repairs on "LUNA", just interrupted by really bad weather and mayor rainfall on March 29th, which turned out as a big disaster for the Northland region, shutting down streets because of the landslides and leaving people stuck without getting home the same day.

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But between work on the "LUNA" there was still time for our favorite BBQs or a Hangi, a traditional Maori Welcome Dinner, with a Dance, singing and traditional food in an earth oven covered with hot rocks, in the Town Basin Marina.

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Whangarei Heads, March 24th - 25th  2007

After the Hangi Soleil left with grandma and grandpa for a camping trip, to stay overnight in the camper van.

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Whangarei, March 31st  2007  

Back in the Town Basin Marina we continued working on "LUNA", stocking up with food for the next 6 month and were watching the movie "Happy Feet" in the Open Air Cinema close to the Marina. We enjoyed dinner at "Reva's", the restaurant in the Marina.

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Whangarei, April 2nd  2007

Bart's birthday. Joke made a traditional Dutch apple cake with the help of Soleil and her friend Roxy, we had fruit salad and waffles for breakfast. What a feast. In the afternoon I invited all our yachtie friends for a birthday BBQ at our favorite gathering place in the Marina.

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Whangarei -Tutukaka - Opua, April 4th - 5th  2007

With high tide at 9:30am we left Whangarei for Tutukaka were we stayed with "LUNA" overnight and continued to Opua, the Bay of Islands the next morning. In front of the Bay we got welcomed with really bad weather, dark rain clouds bringing 50kn gusts for 20 min.

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Opua, Bay of Islands, April 6th-7th 2007

For some days we stayed in the Opua Marina still working on the boat, but enjoying company of our boat friends from "DIVA", "de Pelikaan", "Ohana Kai" and "Zwerver".

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Opua, Bay of Islands, April 8th  2007 

My Birthday. My family made a great surprise-breakfast in the morning and from 5pm on a Happy Hour with Sushi, Salads, Chips and Dips.......on LUNA, with all our sailing friends, who are now in Opua.

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Kawakawa, Bay of Islands, April 10th  2007

On the morning of April 10th we borrowed the car from "de Pelikaan" and went shopping to Whangarei. Along the road you could still see how much damage the bad weather on March 29th accompanied by major rainfall did to the landscape,... lots of landslides everywhere...On the way back from Whangarei we made a stop at the village of Kawakawa (Maori for "PepperTree") to see the Public Toilets the Austrian born designer, architect and ecologist Friedrich Hundertwasser designed in 1997. The Kawakawa Toilets were his final creation before he did at the age of 71 in February 2000 and was buried on his farm near Kawakawa. In 2000, Creative New Zealand awarded this Hundertwasser building the Premier Award in Urban and landscape Design.

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Opua - Waitangi - Urupukapuka, April 11th - 14th  2007

From Opua we sailed towards Waitangi and anchored in the Bay in front of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. In January 1840 Captain William Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands to make a treaty with the Maori chiefs on behalf of the British government. It is an agreement between two peoples to live and work together in one nation. The agreement is as relevant today as in 1840, for it guarantees the rights of both Maori and non-Maori citizens in Aotearoa New Zealand. At Hobson's Beach the Waka House shelters a 35m long Maori waka (canoe), made from 3 massive kauri trees, a minimum of 76 paddlers are required to handle it safely on the water.

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The Meeting House Te Whare Runanga was opened during the Treaty Centenary Celebrations in 1940. It is unique in that it was planned to be shared by all Maori tribes. The major tribal art styles are represented in the carvings, tukutuku (reed panels) and kowhaiwhai (painted rafter patterns).

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We anchored for 3 days and nights in the Bay of Urupukapuka in the Bay of Islands, but we picked days with a lot of squalls, really cold wind from the Southwest with up to 45kn and rain. So we mostly stayed on board, but did some little hikes when the skies cleared on Thursday. Bart went cruising with our long board and I hiked up the islands slopes to take some pictures.

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Last days in New Zealand. Ernst and Joke are leaving Monday to Holland and we are leaving for Fiji. Thanks Ernst and Joke for all the help on board and have a nice summer.                                                                                                                                                                              



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