Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Friday, November 18, 2016

Whangarei.... Getting Settled In....

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We have spent the last week settling into life here in New Zealand.  Our first order of business was to somehow acquire and automobile.  It seems that there are many vehicles here in New Zealand for less than $4000nzd.

We were given a flyer the day we arrived here in the Town Basin for a 2005 Mizubushi station wagon available for $2500...  after calling the seller, w bought it sight unseen and she delivered it a few days later.  After getting it looked over by a local garage, we were down the road (on the wrong side) for just an additional $300.




All it needed was some new brake pads and the oil changed...

Insurance here in New Zealand is "optional". But for us, mandatory, so we're surprised to find out we got all the car insurance we need for a mere $28 per month. A steal of a deal!

The people selling the car have been wonderful.  We had some trouble getting some funds down here so have taken just a deposit and delivered the car.  We hope our money will arrive by Monday.

Our first adventure in the car was to go with our good friends, Kerry and Bruce (s/v Haven) to Opua for the first day of the All Points Sailing Rally, which we participated in coming from Tonga.
Bruce & Kerry (s/v Haven)











Picnic Lunch




Oyster Farming


Ferry to Opua







The trip was stunning.  We just can't get enough of the local scenery.  We took a circuitous route along the cost and had a picnic along the way... what a great day...

With our home now on a dock, we have been busy connecting with people who will help us get the repairs we need done to a Blowin Bubbles.  She has been so good to us over the last 2 1/2 years, but she needs a few things done so we can continue our journey...



So far, we have sent the freezer out for repair, sent emails to get our chart plotter fixed, arranged for a rigging inspection, arranged for a mechanic to look at our broken motor mounts, leaky heat exchanger, broken raw water pump, and our noisy cv joint on the shaft...  we are so proud of our engine for getting us here in spite of her challenges...

We try that accomplish something every day.  For example, today we walked to the market, repaired our washing machine, and Shelley did a bunch of research into a new dinghy.  We figure if we get something done every day, we will have time to relax before we head back to sea in April or May.

I need to say that our time here is not spent working all the time.  We have had time for lots of walks and even attended a cabaret show last Saturday evening... what fun...

Kelly and her good friend, Kristina, will be coming for Christmas in a few weeks so Shelley has been busy finding fun things for us to do while they are here... more soon

Cheers


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Whangarei, New Zealand

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just 48 hours ago, Blowin Bubbles pulled up to dock C-8 in the Whangarei Marina.  This will be our home for the next 3-4 months while we get some work done on the boat and explore the beautiful country of New Zealand.

Before we left Opua we got to know a lovely couple, Jess and James from England who are travelling the world with their two young children, Rocket & Indy...  They have been in NZ for a while and have a car.  they generously invited us to the local Saturday market last week where we feasted on amazing local fresh veggies and treats..

The Keri Keri Market...
 






 

On our way from Opua we anchored overnight in a place called Bland Bay...  Which must be a misnomer as the bay was anything but bland...  We keep seeing some of the most beautiful landscape here in New Zealand....

Heading out from Opua


Bland Bay...


Three dolphins joined us as we pulled out of Bland Bay and played in our bow wake until we were almost in Whangarei...



Whangarei Bay...



The Town Basin Bridge....
 

Upon our arrival, we met up with our good friend Sharon who manages the marina office.  We went out for supper together and feasted on American style BBQ ribs - What a treat!  They tasted as good as any from the American south...
The Whangarei Marina in the Town Basin
 

Yesterday we opened a bank account here in New Zealand so paying for the work that needs to be done on the boat will be easier and we won't have to pay a $5-10 fee every time we use our Canadian bank account.

Last night Shelley ordered tickets for a number of wine festivals over the next few months and we will be going to the theater tomorrow night for the first time in a VERY long time...  Theater is something form our old life we really miss...  So the wine festival tickets are Shelley's Christmas present and I got a new 8 string ukulele!  


We have also bought an old used ca r to use while we are here.  We paid $2000 and have been assured that we can sell it for as much when we leave... A great deal if it all works out.  The car will give us the freedom to explore this beautiful country....

More soon, Cheers!