A Busy Time

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Thu 19 Dec 2013 23:57
A Busy Time
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A warrior travelling from the east coast to his home in the west came upon the deep water channel at Okiato. To keep his marching food “oo” dry while he swam across, wrapped “pua” in kawakawa leaves; leaves plucked from a tree are “pua pua”. Therefore “oo” wrapped his “pua” - Opua. Here we are in Opua, rained in on Tuesday, finally stepping ashore on Wednesday morning, not early, as quite tired Bears. A quick look at the laundry and a call to ‘Rent a Dent’, booked Friday for three days, passing by the cafe, up the stairs to the Marina Office. Jane was a delight. We had just finished the paperwork, booking Beez out of the water and Bear choosing a potting shed, when in walks Rod and Mary (Sheer Tenacity). We thought they were in Whangarei Marina ( pronounced Fun-ga-ray), how amazing to learn that they are booked on N24, just behind us, after New Year. Jobs calling for both sets, we arranged to meet in the Yacht Club later.
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The men in the engine shop were incredibly helpful. The water maker, the sails and Baby Beez can all be be serviced here and we were children in a sweet shop looking around the chandlers, then I found milk bottles (the chewy sweeties) in the General Store. Set up with a local SIM card, we are settling in well.
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Next to the General Store reminded us of Dartmouth. The ferry goes to Russell, a must-do to visit the museum.
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Later, in the Yacht Club, Rod and Mary asked if we would like go out in their car on the morrow, to show us around and take us to a good supermarket, marvellous.
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It was very pleasant watching the yacht races from the balcony.
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A classic lady. We had delicious ribs and chips for supper, what a good day.
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Off we went with Rod and Mary at nine, heading to the local town. We stopped by the river that gave the town its name, Kerikeri, could have been the Thames.  
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The Stone Stone was designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built between 1832-36, New Zealand’s oldest stone building by ex-convict stonemason from Australia, William Parrot and Māori labour out of local basalt and sandstone, imported from Australia. The Stone Store initially housed and traded mission goods. After the Mission Station closed in 1848, it was bought by ex-missionary James Kemp, whose family traded in kauri gum and later leased it as a general store and a Four Square Dairy and then it was bought by the NZ Historic Places Trust in 1975. Today the Store is a store once more selling local craft, classic Kiwiana  and ice cream.
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Next to the Stone Store is Kemp House (Kerikeri Mission House), New Zealand’s oldest building. Kerikeri Mission was founded by the Church Missionary Society in 1819 under the protection of Ngapuhi chief, Hongi Hika and overseen by Kororipo Pa, Hongi’s stronghold. Kemp House was built by Māori sawyers in 1822, it witnessed the departure of the newly armed Ngapuhi war parties in the 1820’s, whose devastating raids on other tribes changed the course of New Zealand history.
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The Kerikeri River provides a pretty anchorage for smaller ladies who come up from the Bay of Islands. The river shallows a little upstream and there is a forest walk leading to the Rainbow Falls, we feel a picnic coming on early next year........., now that does sound weird.
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The modern town of Kerikeri has been part of European history from the beginning, the first visitor to the area was our new friend Captain Cook, who named the area the Bay of Islands in 1769. Until the founding of Auckland and Wellington, the Bay of Islands was the centre of European activity in New Zealand. Samuel Marsden, after meeting Te Pahi, the paramount chief of the Ngati Rehia of Kerikeri who was one of the earliest Māori to start trading with the early Europeans, went back to the Christian Missionary Society in London and a decision was taken to set up a mission in New Zealand. Marsden returned with others on the 23rd of December 1814 and anchored just outside Kerikeri inlet. Here Marsden held the first church service of the land on Christmas Day. In 1831, the Church Missionary Society bought 13,000 acres from Hongi Hika, where today I bought Marmite. I like the Sanitarium label. Steady......... We found a dollar shop, filled with Chinese nick-knacks, a shoe shop I couldn’t help picking up leather and suede footwear  for a stroke and a sniff and on we went. Out of town, the Warehouse is rather like Tesco, great prices and the variety saw us racing around, cooing as we went. We saw a big supermarket called Countdown but, we went into a very nice one called One World. A lady had to help me at the pick and mix as it was something I hadn’t done for so long. Steak for supper as a celebration for getting here. 
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Back in the car, we couldn’t help but comment on how neat and tidy everywhere is. The roads are good and after some of the islands we have been on recently, we are very impressed at seeing no rubbish. Many thanks indeed to Rod and Mary for their kindness.
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On our way home we had a closer look at what many call “Christmas Pudding Island”.

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Back to Beez (very recognisable with her yellow cover), to pack our bits for our road trip to Auckland tomorrow in our ‘rent a dent’.
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