Between lots of boat projects, we've been enjoying some of the sports in the area – as spectators that is (except for "croquey"). It has been a beautiful summer here in NZ after what we hear was a particularly harsh winter. The sun is very hot because there is no pollution here to give you that added layer of filter. Temperatures have been in the high 70's and low 80's.
We do most of the projects in the morning and errands or a fun-activity in the afternoon. So far, we've enjoyed being spectators at "Blind Cricket." This was fascinating to watch as players who are legally blind play the sport of cricket. The game was New Zealand vs. Australia (an ongoing grudge match no matter what the sport). The teams are equally visually impaired. Speaking with another spectator, we learned that one player's sight was too good so he had to wear goggles that blinded him further! Some players were profoundly blind. The cricket ball they used had a rattle sound to it – so the players could "sight" it by hearing it. They "bowled" underhanded rather than the traditional overhand throw. The players that were profoundly blind had to have help getting set-up in the batter's position. It was amazing to watch and they played quite well.
The next event was football (or soccer for those in the States). This was a match between the New Zealand under 20 team and a professional team from Wellington, NZ. The FIFA "Under 20" World Cup is being held here in NZ later this year so they are trying to get the NZ team some experience. We went with Dee and Eric from "Sirena of Oare" who are hard core football fans. It was at the stadium here in Whangarei and we enjoyed the match-up. The U20s won by 1 goal in a 2-1 match
We already wrote about our croquet outing (or "croquey" as its called in the club). Next up we'll give lawn bowling a go as well as the upcoming professional rugby game we'll hit later this week.
Today (Monday) is a holiday here in NZ. We did a major provisioning run in order to score a 40 cent off per liter of fuel voucher. Spend $200 and get the voucher. Because we have to fuel up the boat – it'll come in handy. After our shopping spree – we did a test run of the boat engine. The Gypsea Hearts helped us as it's quite windy and if the engine died in these tight quarters, it would be helpful to have extra hands to fend off. The good news is that the engine after all its work and repairs that Michael has done all worked well. Now, we feel confident to take off for Auckland on Sunday.
It's been a busy month with boat work and getting all our doctor's appointments, blood work etc. completed. Thank goodness the US dollar is doing well against the NZ dollar!
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