Saturday, May 10, 2014

Birthdays and Leaving New Zealand

The birthday boy with Cape Brett in the background.
On the 26th of April we officially rounded "Cape Brett", which is basically the front door to one of New Zealand's most prized cruising grounds - the Bay of Islands.  What's the big deal about the 26th you might ask?  Well my friends, it just so happens to be Brett's birthday!  And we couldn't help but take a photo of Cape Brett with Birthday Brett!

How many candles on that cake Brett???
After firmly setting the hook at the highly recommended Urupukapuka Bay (how fun is that name to say?) with our buddies on Mystic Moon nearby, we gathered to celebrate the auspicious occasion.  There was a lot of toasting, a bit of candle blowing (damn those trick candles anyway, right Brett?) and generally a lot of merriment.  Especially since Mystic had brought along some very nice whiskey!  A big thanks to Kathy and John for joining us and for being a part of a really fun night.

Having fun with John and Kathy from Mystic Moon.
We've spent the last week ticking last minute items off the pre-departure list, we've had plenty of time to prepare and consider our upcoming passage.  Countless hours have been spent looking at and analyzing the grib (weather) files, considering our options and talking to other cruisers.  It's hard not to be a little worried as this is a tough piece of water to get across, but we are as ready as we can be and it looks like our window is finally here.

As I sit in Opua trying to get our blog up to date before we leave tomorrow for Fiji, I've spent a lot of time reflecting and reliving our time here in New Zealand.  While it's been a little tough to swallow how ridiculously expensive it is here (imagine spending an entire years budget in just 6 months), we've also had some amazing esperiences and cruised in some beautiful areas.  I have been truly impressed with the locals we've met here - they are funny and kind, but also will tell you EXACTLY what they think about pretty much anything.  No political correctness here - and that's really refreshing!  They will not hesitate to invite you into their home and their lives, even when you've just barely met.  Again - refreshing!

So while we are now significantly poorer financially for having come to New Zealand, the friends we've made, the places we've seen and the time spent cruising this beautiful north island were worth every penny to me.  And while I am very ready to go, I will still miss it here after I'm gone. 

Goodbye New Zealand!


  1. Hope you have a good sail north. Looking forward to seeing you in Fiji!

  2. We have been living aboard and cruising for 4 years but our intention is to one day get to New Zealand. We don't know why we want to get there, we just do.
    You have probably set off for Fiji by now and we wish you both the safest of crossing.