Saturday, April 8, 2017

South Island, New Zealand

Along with friends Lorraine and Kellye, occasionally of Denver, Colorado, we drive to Wellington, stopping at many attractions along the way.  The Ferry takes us from Wellington to The South Island where we find penguins, seals, ruins of recent earthquakes, majestic fiords, glaciers and more.  It is a grueling drive with occasional rain but we find much to enjoy.

With a guide and a 'mother ship' we tackle the
Able Tazman Track for a day.  We are cooled
by the rain . . .

and warmed by the exercise.

We are awed by the view of Cape Foulwind,

impressed by Doubtful Sound

and the view of Fox Glacier.

we track down the elusive yellow-eye penguin.

Bay of Islands, Take II

So, we take it easy, moving our base of operations at a whim, anchoring in the shelter of the islands.

Otehi Bay hides a lodge area with paddle board
rentals and a cafĂ©.  We are anchored a mile away
over the hill so we work off the ice cream.

The ladies explore the rocks of the anchorage.

Gregg admires R. Tucker Thompson which takes
tourists on day trips in Bay of Islands.

Kalliope remains in the Bay of Islands Marina at the town of Opua while her crew explore the many attractions of New Zealand.

Cruising Bay of Islands

Kellye and Lorraine went sailing around the Bay of Islands spending several days aboard Kalliope.   We anchor in a quiet bay from time to time and paddle ashore for hiking or some snorkel in the almost warm water.

Lorraine guides our sturdy craft.

Kellye hoists the main sail.

Hole in the Rock at SE limit of the Bay of Islands.

Deb makes new friends during a walk on
Urupukapuka Island.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Northland, NZ

We go for a drive around the North Part of 
the North Island

Above are the Cavalli Islands.  We must visit by boat.

Known as 90 mile beach, It may not be that long
but there certainly is a lot of sand.  Sky is not bad.

Trees overhanging the beach well a different beach.

This is Christmas in the Antipodes!

Kauri tree about 2,000 years old

We sleep in the tent, not the car.  Imagine
Debbie and the Geezer!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Zealand and Safe Harbor

November 16, 2016  Kalliope Arrives New Zealand

This is a dawn view of New Zealand's Bay of Islands.  We are very happy to enter sheltered waters.

After sixteen days at sea, Deb unwinds by securing some of the lines we used on the passage.

The day after clearing customs and immigration we walk the
"Paihia Track" a couple miles between seaside villages.  It
starts as a marked path over gravel and rocks of the beach.

Depending on who you ask, these are
cormorants or skag.  (I asked Deb.)

It becomes a narrow track clinging
to the cliff just above the beach.

We break out of the brush to a couple of business 
and small clusters of homes.  This shot represents
Doug's Boatyard and Phil's Yacht Rental.

We duck back into the brush for the last hundred yards
before emerging to the commercial center of Opua.

The Okiato ferry approaches the Opua landing.

A Good Day in Niue

We stop for a week in Niue.
If you pronounce "new way" you are very close.
About 1,400 souls reside here permanently
and about 18 cruising sailors in eight boats today.
There are two flights per week to New Zealand.

The trail is not long but it is treacherous jagged
coral not to be attempted in flip flops like Gregg did.

There are several separate "sea tracks" from road to surf.

The picture tells the story.

Most sea tracks end in a swimming pool.

The approach takes you through caves.
That is our new friend John of U.K in the lower left.

The reward is a refreshing dip.  This is Deb dipping.

This one was one of the busiest tracks
with about eight people frolicking.

Some access trails are steep and slippery.

John scrambles through the caves like a cat.

These are closer to the open ocean than the "baths."

The sea snakes are scary but not very aggressive.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dirty Books

We get a lot of dirty books out here at the end of the road.

As retired persons we have a lot of time for reading.  Like many retired folks, we are 'over fifty,' and like many folks over fifty we are slow to pick up the concept of leisure reading on a computer.  We like reading Ink on paper.  It takes us back to our childhood.

As we wander farther from home where English speakers dominate, we find it harder to find books in English.  We usually do not pay for them, but trade for them at book exchanges that may be as formal as a library in a hotel or as informal as a gathering in the cockpit of a cruising boat.

These books tend to be in poor condition, particularly those that have been at sea for a while.  They have been passed from hand to hand for years, some for decades.  Coffee stains are often the least of the insults they suffer.  Dousing with water is common, both fresh and salt.  Mildew soon follows.  They get torn in falls and may delaminate due to repeated use or plain old age.  One humiliation never before contemplated occurred to a copy of Crime and Punishment this morning when a friend on a departing boat passed close to where we are anchored and threw the book ship-to-ship.  We call it air mail.

Some smokers also read books and I can tell which books they read from quite a distance.  These I avoid unless it is a particularly delicious title or I am desperate.  They are read outside and held downwind.  These are the dirtiest of the dirty books.

We consumers of printed pages (usually) treat them respectfully, often making amateur attempts to tape or glue them back together.  However tattered and patched, each one is a treasure to be autographed with location, boat name and passed on to another sailor with a one sentence review and an apology that it is not the genre he or she prefers.

These are the agonies visited on us, the vestiges of a nearly forgotten era as we approach the ends of the earth.  It could be worse.  What if there were no e-books?