Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Auckland Adventure and Back at Anchor

We have untied from the Bayswater Marina and are now nestled in between Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands in a lovely spot called Islington Bay. It is less than ten miles from Auckland and our marina, so a good first stop to get "re-acquainted" with anchoring! We had to fuel up after leaving the marina, something we hadn't done for awhile and we forgot how long it takes to put diesel into the tank when using a baja filter.

Yesterday we did spend a nice day in downtown Auckland. We took the ferry from Bayswater and it drops you right into downtown Auckland. From there we walked two blocks to the US Consulate. Barbara needed to add more pages to her passport – and they did it while we waited. Michael also needed to get his license renewal paperwork notarized so we accomplished that there as well. It was easy – just handing over lots of our favorite US dollars!

From there we hiked around town exploring some of the sights and finding boat chandleries along the way. At noon, we met our friend Jean from Superted V who bussed to Auckland to pick up her car. We had a great reunion and lunch together and then parted ways. We returned on the ferry after a bit more exploring and then had the "post" adventure. We were in search of a post office so we could mail Michael's license renewal paperwork to Florida. While in Auckland we got the proper envelopes and learned what the best way to post the envelope was. So we walked about a mile to Belmont only to find out the little "post" outlet didn't handle that type of international postal service. It was 4:20 pm – so with the help of lots of locals giving us info, we caught a bus to Devonport to the big "post." As we boarded the bus, we asked the driver to let us off near the post office – he didn't know where it was, so stood up and asked the entire busload of people where it was. Several volunteered to "walk us" to the "Post" as it was near their stop. They really are incredibly kind people in NZ! We managed to find it and get there before it closed and posted the envelope.

Auckland is a really neat city with lots of waterfront and lots of boats. We watched the New Zealand America's Cup catamaran get launched with a giant crane. We've seen the Italian "Prada" boat also out in the bay practicing. These are giant, very fast boats. It is great to be in a city, known as the "City of Sails," that loves boating. At the marina, folks were very friendly and helpful with local knowledge and enthusiasm for boating, their country and the islands. Each had a favorite to share and great places to visit.

We'll hopefully head out tomorrow for Great Barrier Island so we can explore that even further. There is a trek we want to take to a conservation area. Perhaps we'll get even more ambitious and trek up Mt. Hobson as well....but we'll see how fit we're feeling!

On Tuesday of next week, we have a haul out scheduled in Whangarei for a rudder check/ repair and bottom paint. Hopefully the rudder won't need repairing and the bottom paint will get on quickly and without issue so it won't be a long time "on the hard."

We'll report from Great Barrier later.

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