Final preps for Homeward Journey
Thu 9 Nov 2017 12:12
We had planned to spend a couple of days north of Whangarei in Russell where much early European immigrant history was made, while we still had Vicky but then along came our buyers and their genuine enthusiasm and our need to part with our trusty car were perfectly matched. With three pre-school girls Vicky’s wide back seat gave plenty of room for their car seats, and of course being a Volvo she is very safe with her SIPS and her (now) working air bags. We had advertised Vicky on Trade Me and waited and waited. A local scrap yard had offered us $500, the previous owner, Carl went as far as $1000 so we were delighted when Tane agreed to $1700, almost the price of one return fare home.
When Jeannie heard we had sold the car and so would not be going to Russell under our own steam she offered to take us for coffee instead to a place she had known for years just south of Russell. We stopped on the way at a pretty lake area, once a coal mine and now a popular recreation area. At The Gallery and Cafe at Helena Bay in the tiny and charming garden the little green pond frogs make a noise that is in indirect proportion to their size. The cafe balcony looks over native woodland to the bay below and in the gallery the artworks from numerous cultures made me wish I was a millionaire furnishing my mansion.
Next day, the wad of money from Vicky’s sale now temporarily deposited in our NZ bank account and Doctor Samraj Nandra’s letter allowing Rob to fly filed away safely, we went back to House of Travel and let Anne do the donkey work for us, so she booked our flights for the next week, just five days away. Before Rob was poorly and we were booked to fly home on July 18th I asked him if he was looking forward to it. “Not really, I’m so used to plans being changed because of business commitments.” Well his response this time was somewhat different, “Hell yes!”
Rob’s progress on the re-varnishing of the galley was coming along. All the tough old and now discoloured because of the flood varnish was removed revealing fresh ‘new’ wood. I made myself busy Pfaffing about with my sewing machine making two hatch covers, two cockpit cushion covers and new webbing straps for my small travel bag. It had been a freeby from the French clothing company, La Redoute many years before but the fabric was tough and clean so I just used some webbing from Arthurs Emporium to make new straps in funky lime green. Rob just smiles at such exploits these days.
We had numerous wonderful farewell (temporarily) dinners with friends and spent a really enjoyable day planning our next cruising in Zoonie when we get back. We hope to do a triangle out to Great Barrier Island, south west to Tauranga to see Mark and Andrea in their new home and then up north to the Bay of Islands before we leave NZ finally in May 2018. We are so lucky to be making such plans, it hasn’t been blue sky for our friends Christopher and Sue Singer who if you remember own their elderly yacht Larry and whom we met up with in Greymouth while we were in the South Island.
I opened up our Mailasail account just before we left to find an email from Sue entitled “Sad News”. We knew they were coming to Tonga to charter a yacht for a holiday. We had hoped to join them before Zoonie took her drink of riverwater. So we knew they were coming to the area. Well while they were snorkelling on a trip they had both been really looking forward to Christopher had a fatal heart attack and Sue and their son Humphrey were arranging to take Christopher home. We just hoped that as we would be home as well we would be able to spend some time with Sue as we had planned to see them both. Again we quietly reflected on our good fortune at Rob’s expert care and recovery.