We have been here at Opua for a week. It was
a good decision to stop here. Opua
is in the
. It is a very lovely, rural area with not much but sheep and lots of little Bed
and Breakfast places. We rented a car the first day as Opua itself has nothing
but the marina and we had to go to Pahia, 5km up the road for shopping. Pahia
was one of those universal seaside holiday towns with postcard shops, little
cafes and motels. It is late spring here in
and the town is just revving up for the big summer season. I think I forgot to
mention they drive on the left here and the rental car was a right hand drive
– yikes. It was a wee bit scary the first day but we are getting used to it.
We will be buying a car in Tauranga so by next month we will be old hands.
There is a Cruisers Club at the
and they had a several social events for people to eat and drink. They hosted a
lovely Thanksgiving dinner for all us “Americans”. Lots of people from all
nationalities showed up and it was a lovely time.
Our good friends from the Danish boat
“Scafogg” showed up the day before Thanksgiving. I was walking down the
wondering why the guy coming toward me was smiling at me. It was Anders! Jonah
was thrilled to see Victor and Emma again and they gave him big hugs. They treat
him like a little brother. Needless to say it was wonderful to see Annetta
again. A girlfriend is hard to find when you are cruising and you have many
couple friends but not often a girlfriend. She is a little crazy and very manic
so needless to say we get on famously. We meet all the Cruising Scandinavians
thru them. I had not realized the closeness of the language and she chats in
Danish with Swedes and Norwegians and they respond in their language – each
person understanding enough of the other’s conversation.
fixed our autopilot, refrigerator and a pulley on the engine. Three items that
needed to be fixed before we could proceed south. Everything is incredibly cheap
here – it is $.41 US to $1 NZ dollar. The economy here is weak and they have
an incredible emigration of professionals who leave for
and other places to work. The people are fabulously friendly and thrilled to
have the cruisers descend on their country. I believe almost 800 boats are
coming to NZ to spend the season here. Indeed since Opua is the first check in
town – at least half stop here before proceeding on to other places around
. We have met many boats that we know from other places which is sometimes nice
and sometimes distressing. Many of the boats are coming back from their second
or more season in the Pacific.
Jonah has been having a great time playing
with his friends. Other kids have showed up and there has been a small gang of
shouting kids running around. Anetta and I took them to the playground in Pahia
to let them run. They are all a bit hyper from the long passage to NZ.
Today we are leaving for Tauranga but it is
raining. We will go to anchorage at the tip of the
so we are poised to run south. It is 200 miles to Tauranga and will be two days
and one night. The wind is not cooperating as it is from the Southeast. When we
get there we have to anchor out until slack water as the tides are so vicious it
makes docking difficult.