Back in Kiwiland!!

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Sat 10 Oct 2009 06:32
35:18.79 S
174:07.34 W

We are happy because we are in Opua!! Tied up to the customs dock at 22:10 this Friday evening, waiting for clearance in the morning.

Last night the winds we were waiting for finally arrived. It seemed like they had been saving themselves for our final day out there because they kept piping up and also bringing buckets of rain. Luckily mostly from a Northerly - Northwesterly direction, so all downwind. Not so lucky that all that rain blew straight into the cockpit. Quite rolly as well, with gusts close to 40 kts and Molly surfing the waves up to 12 kts! And then the odd slide sideways, making everything on board shift and rattle. Or a wave slamming in the side, but not as big as we had on the way out of NZ to Tonga. Molly did well and kept going. We could see we were getting closer to land as the bird life increased even more, we saw several albatrosses doing some impressive flight stunts and then a school of common dolphins joined us jumping out of the water at the bow for half an hour, like a welcoming escort into New Zealand.

We entered the Bay of Islands just after dark and the lights from Paihia guided us in. It seemed that all the bad weather stayed out on the ocean, inside the Bay we motored in very calm waters. We could not have wished for better weather to prepare the boat for docking. So here we are - no more motion for a while. The weird thing is that we still feel the motion of the ocean in our balance organs so we are kind of "swaggering" around. After we all had a shower we will sit down and have a toast on our landfall!

Cheers from the slightly dizzy crew,

Geoff, Merel & James