Wednesday, December 9, 2015

En Zed (NZ)

Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa

They say 'zed' here in New Zealand rather than 'z'. They also don't measure distances in blocks (think meters) or have brussel sprouts. Other than little things like that, and if you disregard the obvious  British influences (accents, driving on the left side), being in New Zealand is a lot like being back in the U.S. Among other things, this means a cornucopia of foodstuffs.  Even small convenience stores carry much more than most of the 'big' stores we have visited over the last few years.  The kids were literally running around the supermarket yelling, 'Look! They have shrimp!  Look! They have broccoli!'

Pompallier House, Russell
Whereas in most of the areas we have frequented, 9-year olds were seen driving dinghies and there were rarely working seatbelts in cars, New Zealand requires seatbelts and wants kids to be a bit older before they drive a boat by themselves. They have laws here and expect you to follow them (and they actually have police to enforce them).  We bought a car to use while we're here, which makes things seem even more civilized. We no longer have to walk a mile to the store to find out that there's no fresh food or produce, but the supply boat might come in next Thursday.
Tannery at the Pompallier House. They used to soak
the leather in urine to soften it.

Speaking of cars, our new "beater" car is a radical departure from our previous vehicles.  We have always been very practical, point-A-to-point-B car people (Honda Civic).  We were hoping to get perhaps a Subaru wagon or a beat up van or something else similar.  So of course we have somehow ended up with a 1999 BMW 328i.  Mark on Amelie IV says it makes perfect sense as we are just perpetuating the stereotype of lawyers in a Beamer. In our defense, it was the cheapest car we could find without super high mileage.  We got a great deal on it so we're hoping it will be easy to sell when we leave.
Our new (to us) wheels

We have been steadily working on our list of boat projects. The good news on the transmission is that nothing appears to be wrong with it (which is good since they're not available from the factory until mid-March 2016). The bad news is that something is still making a very cranky noise. Matt dove into the very chilly (for us), murky, and mutant-jellyfish-infested water to check out the shaft, which seems fine. As soon as we get our new batteries installed within the next few days, we will move the boat and do some more diagnostics.
Trail from Okiato to Russell. We can still find
ways to torture the kids.
Nearly vertical climbing hazard? Send the kids!

In the meantime, we are managing to see some of the sights around Opua and the kids are having a good time with friends, both new and old.
Santa and the Tooth Fairy at the Christmas Parade in Paihia
Waiariki Pools--Jed Clampett discovers hot springs
rather than oil in his backyard, digs pools, charges admission.
Ruapekapeka pa battlesite
A train that runs down the main street in Kawakawa


  1. Hi guys,
    Nothing like the large tiger jellyfish. The water is at lot clearer out in the bay (Roberton Island) and a nice anchorage. You my be lucky to find a few scallops there also. If you like mussels, we could give you some coordinates for a great location. Whangarei is about 20% cheaper for food and better help on marine services and quality also, there are plenty on marine stores there. Great sail lofts for repairs and Auckland has great used sails. If you meet Pete and Ray on Saliander (55' light blue Tayana), they are back home and know the lay of the land. Stay warm and Merry Christmas

    Full Monty

    1. We're very much looking forward to getting out to Robertson one of these days. Mussels eh? We love 'em! Would gladly trade you a future beer for some coordinates....

  2. For more info on marine repair services in Whangarei, you might want to check out my dad's blog post on it: They spent quite a few months there last season. Perhaps it will be helpful.

    S/V Firefly

  3. Amazing the tracks you've made since we last saw you in the Bahamas! Wow, oh wow New Zealand! Car owners again to boot. Love keeping up with you through the blog. I'm sitting in LAX here on a chilly clear Christmas evening waiting for my 12:40 flight to Belize City to catch back up with Brit and the boat. I'm notorious for running away when boatyard life overwhelms me. Had a wonderful R&R month back home in Cazadero after two weeks of rain, biting insects, and the boatyard blues in the Rio Dulce. Merry day after Christmas in NZ. Sandy


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