Helen at New Year

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - December 2012

3rd December - Drove to Auckland to stay with Ian and Claire Rabbitts and family (son of Graham & Dairne Rabbitts from MYC), near the airport.

4th December - Helen arrived from UK. Great to see her. Weather not brilliant and forecast for wind and rain for first few days!

5th December - Helen and I spent some time Christmas shopping in Paihai then despite the rain we all went out for a walk along the river in Waitiki.

6th December - Braved the wind and rain and started our cruise with a short sail to the KeriKeri inlet where we met up with Dave & Ann Fisher from MYC who were visiting their daughter.

6th to 30th December - cruised around Northland. First north to Whangeroa where we climbed the Dukes Nose, then to the Cavalli Islands where Helen and Matt dived on the Rainbow Warrior, then back to the Bay of Islands and south to the Hauraki Gulf. Unfortunately on one of our walks, I got a blister which then got a deep infection so had to visit a doctor for a course of antibiotics. That put paid to me doing much walking and certainly no swimming (water was a tad cold anyway!)

25th December - Found a nice protected bay on Waiheke next to El Vagabond. It rained and blew all day but it didn't affect our traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings, mince pies, Christmas pud and Christmas cake - yummy as always!

26th December - got out for a mini Boxing Day walk (in between the showers). The weather started to clear a day or so later - we got to do quite a bit of walking around the islands of the Hauraki Gulf before taking the boat to Auckland for New Year.

30th December - went to see the last performance of 'Mary Poppins' at the Civic theatre - brilliant.

31st December - we had a marina berth in the center of Auckland so spent a lovely New Years Eve having dinner overlooking the Americas Cup boats in the Viaduct, then watching the fireworks on the tower.

1st January 2013 - left the boat in the marina and drove down to Waitomo. Matt and Helen walked the Waitomo walkway which follows the stream through a limestone landscape - my foot was still too bad to walk far.

2nd January - did the 'Abyss' - Black water rafting in the Ruakuri caves - a 5 hour caving experience which included an absail down 35m through an 'hourglass' hole, a zip line in total darkness, jumping into the freezing water with a rubber tube and paddling it down the swift flowing underground river and climbing up waterfalls to get out of the caves! Ruakuri is the home of the glowworm grotto - the caves are lit up in places with thousands of tiny glow worms. Great stuff!

3rd January drove to Rotorua - spent the afternoon having a 'Maori experience' at the Te Puia center which is also a geothermal area with mud pools and geysers. Saw a Maori cultural performance and various artisans and craftsmen at work.

4th January - Scenic drive around the Rotorua area before doing the white water rafting on the river Kaituna - a grade 5 rafting experience which included a 21 foot drop waterfall - allegedly the highest commercially rafted falls in the world.

5th January - drove back to Auckland for a very sad cheerio to Helen at the airport - but it had been great to have her with us for 5 weeks.

6th January - decided to stay in the marina for a week or so to do various boat projects. This may be the last blog for a while - we have until the end of the cyclone season to stay in New Zealand - our plan is to cruise around until March then haul out and do more work before heading down to the south island in the car to do more sightseeing. Well that's the plan today but who knows..................watch this space!

                                          Lat and Long   15th January 2013:

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