Jeremy & Sally Paul
Sun 31 May 2009 23:15
On arriving in Auckland after a long and rather tedious journey, with noone there to meet me, and feeling very sorry for myself. I hired a car and somehow managed to drive to the boat, which is an hour out of Auckland.
She looked great, Jeremy's books and mess everywhere, so I felt right at home!!!
On managing to get the fridge and ice maker to work, I had a little nap followed by a lovely glass of chilled Nautillus Chardonnay ( that one is for Guy Wilkes).
The weather alternated from quite nice to wet and freezing. The only problem was I could not get the heating to work, and with not enough winter clothing I got a little chilly.
I then discovered that Adventure were here and hot footed over there for a visit. Kathy, Sean, Tara and Kasey who are settling into life in Auckland, awaiting visas and jobs.
The girls are in a very good local school, learning to play soccer and cricket, and making a host of new friends .I had a great time being fed and watered, also reciprocating on Astra.
On Jeremy's arrival I decided to leave him to his jet lag and go to Wellington to visit George. I went with Morgan, the girlfrieng of Pete from Zulu. We had a great time with a sobre and non-smoking George, who as you can see from the picture is looking fantastic.
We both decided Wellington is much nicer than Auckland as it is smaller and slightly more quirky. Unfortunately the weather was disgusting so did not get to see much except the inside of a few bars and restaurants. Oh and a bit of culture, a quick visit to the museum to see the largest squid on earth. Fascinating.
We were met at the airport by Jeremy and on driving back to town saw that Shenandoah had returned with Ash swinging from the mast. He is now Coxswain in charge of ribs. We went back next day and had a quick drink with him. He is loving the boat and is back in the UK Sept time, whilst the boat is having a total refit.
Over the next couple of days we got Astra ready for departure. We also managed to have a farewell dinner with Adventure and go out to dinner with Ash and Morgan
At 17.30 hrs we left for Opua. Just the two of us. Very daunting, but quite exciting. After about an hour we decided bring back George and Ash .....all is forgiven. No scrabble for me, and Jeremy wasn't able to relax on the blue pillow, and give orders.
We motored the whole way, as there was no wind and as usual on the nose.
On arriving in Opua we spent 3 days waiting for a storm to blow over and finally at 11.30 hours on Mon morning we set sail for Australia. I am terrified.