Afloat at last - Town Basin, Whangarei

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Mon 4 May 2020 04:53

With the engine problem resolved we managed to get out more regularly for our permitted exercise. Options  for walking directly from the boatyard weren’t particularly attractive, involving a walk along the road through an industrial estate so on a couple of occasions we drove a couple of kilometres towards town to allow us to walk the riverside Hatea Loop track.  On board we still had jobs to keep us occupied and also enjoyed the National Theatre Live productions on You Tube so the first 4 weeks of level 4 restrictions passed pretty easily for us.  We have had plenty of practice in stocking up for long periods away from services and coping with isolation on our long passages, and we had the company of the other liveaboards in the yard (always at a distance) to give variety to our days.


Plenty of books in the lunch room – mostly thrillers or romances

The slipway closed off from the river

Serenity waiting patiently to be launched

The yard’s flower beds were well tended and full of fresh herbs!

We had plenty of lovely still, sunny days to admire the river view

The Hatea Loop walk

On the 20th of April it was announced that level 4 would be extended for another 5 days, until after the Anzac Day holiday on Monday the 27th, and that we would then be in level 3 for 2 weeks.  Level 3 allows non-essential businesses to start operating as long as they can do so without contact – otherwise we are still expected to remain within our ‘bubble’ and stay at home.  The good thing from our point of view was that the boatyard decided they could operate within the new restrictions and they started moving boats on and off the water on the 29th of April.  We were launched on the 1st of May with only one minor problem, when we went aground at the end of the slipway before they had even taken their lines off us – it must have silted up through not being used for nearly 6 weeks.  The marina in town agreed to us bringing our bubble into their space so we are now bobbing around for the first time since mid February.

Launched at last

And able to enjoy nicer walks such as going up Parihaka (240 metres)

Along the riverside walkway through the mangroves

Parihaka is the furthest hilltop

Bush tracks


And a view from the top

We expect to stay in the town until the end of level 3 restrictions and then see what is allowed at level 2.  Our visas have been extended until the end of September but we are still not in a position to make plans for leaving New Zealand.