Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to everyone who is reading our blog for a healthy and prosperous 2014!

On New Years eve, I rigged the little sailing dinghy and went for a voyage around the two local bays. I counted around 60 boats in the bays and more people in the 'bach's' (summer camps) that huddle under the shadow of the hill one bay over. Ironically, our friends sailing in the Bay of Islands tell me that the crowds we sought to escape did not materialize. Perhaps everyone came up here instead.

Natalie and Angelina look out toward our anchorage in Whangaroa Harbour
 After the sail, I picked up Angelina and Natalie from 'La Fiesta' while David relaxed, after scrubbing their boat's bottom, by assisting another cruiser with engine troubles. We landed on a sand beach at the head of the bay and followed a lightly used trail to a rocky lookoff.

Natalie and Angelina 

I did not bring the camera to the New Years eve celebrations that we held on the beach and then later on board Kamali'i (pictured below). All my friends from the boats around showed up and we saw in the New Year with NZ bubbly courtesy of Matthew on 'Rock and Roll Star'. Kamali'i is a Philip Rhodes design built, for the grandson of an oil baron. She was constructed to the highest standards and, being 75 feet long and weighing as many tons, is more a ship than a boat. I have a great deal of respect for the new owners who rescued her from an early retirement in California. She makes a lovely addition to any anchorage and apparently sails along very comfortably at 10 knots. Her owners, James and Sharon are also friends with our friends Rob and Jo from 'Blue Moon', so we will probably sail south together to meet Blue Moon in the Bay of Islands.

Kamali'i raising anchor. Note it takes two people on the bow to do this, using a gigantic electric windlass and a small crane (in place of a bow roller). It took 3 months of labour to prepare her lovely wooden spars and standing rigging for the Pacific crossing.

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