We flew back to NZ and arrived January 1st. It was good to celebrate New Year’s Day in our home on Landfall. We worked hard to get the boat back in the water and to clean out a storage container that we had in Dockland 5 that was full of stuff that had to go back on the boat. Although we love NZ it was time for us to keep moving west with a few stops along the way. But first we had a few family visits planned.
Our first visit was from Adrianna, Barb’s niece and her 2 friends. What was supposed to be a 2-night visit to include a leisurely sail, somewhere, turned into a one night dreary, rainy, windy night stay on Landfall, although we enjoyed the time with our short stay company. Can’t predict the weather too far and unfortunately a small cyclone passed through.
But they had a great stay with our friends Pete and Mel in their lovely home in Whangarei Heads and then went off chasing the sun and wineries!!
VISIT FROM ALLISON, LEANNE AND SEAN
Our second adventure was a visit from Barb’s daughter Allison and niece Leanne and her partner Sean. All five of us spent an incredible month on Landfall cruising the Hauraki Gulf.
Not much space for 5 people but we survived and had an amazing time. We will let the pictures tell the story.
Start the visit with a look at Volvo Around the World Races
A Closer Look
First night they were treated to the worlds best tasting mussel, the NZ Green Lipped Mussel. Fabulous
We stayed in Waiheke for a couple of days. It’s a place for wineries so we visited a few. We hung out for a couple of days as we had to wait for another mini cyclone to pass us by while we were in a safe anchorage.
Fine day for a nap
A visit to the Winery while we are in Waiheke. But first a little honey
As the weather settled the kids were anxious to get going so we decided to do a night sail to Mercury Island. None of them had done an overnight passage on a boat so all were excited and all hands on deck. By midnight only Denny was left on watch. I guess the jet lag was still kicking in.
Great Mercury is a beautiful little island. Not great for anchoring but we managed to grab a buoy and hang out for a couple of days. And oh the fish. We fished and fished and fished some more. We even had a Marlin on the hook but he ran all the line off the reel then jumped out of the water and waved his tail goodbye but not long enough for a pic.
We did a couple of hikes and a day sail to a near by bay so we could hang out on a beautiful beach and do some kayaking.
Another exhausting death march
View of our anchorage
One last look
We Left Great Mercury with the predictions of BIG wind and headed for Great Barrier. The winds were not bad at all and that was a good thing because our Auto Pilot failed us and from that point on we had to hand steer. Not so bad with 5 hands on board.
We made it to Great Barrier. It was a chance for the young ones to do an overnight track.
From there it was hand steering to the Hauraki Gulf.
We stopped and fished on the way.
With some leisure time in between.
And then it was a visit to some other Islands along the Hauraki Gulf.
First a stop on the Coramandel Peninsula.
With some more fishing on the way
Until we can’t fish anymore
Then on to Rotorua and some nature walks.
One more Island Rangitoto to see more volcanic stuff. Our dinghy didn’t work so we rowed the kids to shore and left them there to explore while we worked on fixing the problem.
Last stop Whangarei. Some more hiking, rock climbing and finally a look at some glow worms, a must do!
Can’t capture the picture. But we know the pearly strings are glow worms!
Some people would rather wander around outside than in the caves
Some people just need to climb
It’s worth one last look
A month to remember.
Company has left. The boat is quiet.
Goodbye New Zealand