We're back to the boat. And back to the log. Sorry about the long break in entries. Hope everyone on the east coast of the US is surviving what looks like a big bad snow storm. Barbara was just there a week earlier and is glad it waited until she left!
We did a quick trip the states to attend Michael's mom's memorial service which was really a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. Michael stayed in Oregon to take care of some business and Barbara made a quick trip to the east coast to see her mom, sister, brother-in-law and nephews. We both enjoyed spending time with friends in Oregon.
The trip back was long and thanks to children in the row behind us, the twelve hour flight was REALLY LONG! We each watched a few movies but got very little rest. Upon landing though, everything was easy. Immigration, customs and the food sniffing dog was a breeze and we were back in New Zealand. We caught a bus back to Auckland and then a ferry to Bayswater where Astarte was tied up in the marina. All was good aboard. We took a nice long walk that afternoon to a little superette to pick up some bread and walked further to a small Thai restaurant for a tasty meal and back to the boat. It was good to stretch the legs and body, stiff from sitting for almost 20 hours!
Thanks to Karen and Larry, also in the marina, we got a lovely brunch the next morning and a ride to the large grocery store to re-provision the boat which had been emptied before leaving for the states. $600 later, we had some supplies to re-fill the fridge and freezer. Michael has started projects already – including the leaky pump for the water-maker. We're also getting the boat back to two person living arrangements – taking back the V-berth (garage) and forward head (laundry room/hanging locker). It was great having Dave and Lorna aboard and they safely made it back to the states as well.
We'll spend another few days in the marina to get the boat bits and pieces stored and travel clothes and bags put away. Thanks to our friend Sandy, we got an old suitcase to carry all our purchases from the states back to NZ. She'll be glad to know that we left the bag up near the recycle area and it was "recycled" into someone else's hands within minutes. So her old suitcase has another round of travel in the southern hemisphere! Better than in a landfill!
Next stop – more exploring of the islands around Auckland and make our way towards a haul out somewhere at some point soon for new bottom paint, some interior varnishing and rudder repairs. We hope to reconnect with our cruising gang soon.
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