After our travels we had a brief interlude of
doing various maintenance jobs before our Swedish friends Ann and Par came to
stay. After their own exploration of South Island they came aboard for an
enjoyable 8 or 9 days and we had a chance to navigate the Hauraki Gulf. This is
the large bay that protects Auckland, it is full of islands large and small with
their various harbours and so many anchorages that somewhere protected from wind
and swell can usually be found for the night.
Great Barrier Island
We had some excellent sailing whilst our Swedish
friends were with us, including a fast passage down to Kawau Island when we were
gradually overhauled by the impressive Spirit of New Zealand, a sail training
It was good to see Ann and Par again. We
originally met them 30 years ago in the Caribbean and we have always had a lot
in common. Fortunately they both speak excellent English.
One of the highlights of their stay with us
was living off the sea. We managed to catch 3 good sized kawahi, which eat very
well especially when barbecued.
We also gathered oysters on the foreshore, some of
which we ate raw . We had an amusing evening one night smoking some of the fish
and some of the oysters.
We hadn't used the smoking attachment for our
barbecue before and I was not sure how much of the smoke pellets to put in. The
upshot was that it started to produce clouds of smoke and we ended up with a
Before the smoke.
Shell sculpture whilst beach combing.
Once Par and Ann had gone and the boat had been
de-smoked, we had another long weekend with Lorraine's cousin Jill and husband
Charles. The weather was rather unsettled but we hope they thoroughly enjoyed
themselves. Jill was delighted to catch 6 Snapper including 2 big enough to
keep. Fish catches are regulated by the Ministry of Fisheries with rules
governing the size of fish that can be kept or returned and the number of each
particular type that can be caught per person each day. This seems to work as
fish stocks appear to be thriving.
Snapper for supper.
The cousins also indulged in some synchronised
…............whilst the menfolk concentrated on
navigating the ship...............
After our weekend away we had a super party at
Jean's house with most of her family in attendance including L's cousins Mark,
Donna and Jill and their children (first cousins once removed). Young 'uns
Harrison and his friend with Donna's twins Connor and Jessica all seemed
genuinely interested in the boat when they visited with Mark the following
Connor, here in the foreground, clearly has
inherited of the same family genes as his Great Aunty Barbara who was once a
Reuniting with my Aunt Jean and getting to know
her family has been a real pleasure. We have been lucky to spend time with Jill,
Charles and Holly who live not too far from Jean. We wished we had had
opportunity to spend more time with Mark and Donna and their families but we
already feel we are running out of time. Thank you all for your welcome and
Soon we will have to do just as this unfriendly
Sorry, we just liked the picture!