Guest blog from Kathryn Sobocinski
We got back into Auckland without much ado, but did get to witness many, many boats on a busy Sunday in Auckland harbor. Ferries, sailboats, tankers, cruise ships, fishing boats, we saw it all. After some laundry, we took a walk around Auckland, including a trip up the Sky Tower (the Space Needle-like thing). We got some nice views of the city and out to the islands we visited. No one bungee jumped from the tower while we were there, but it was a good diversion. We went back to the boat and showered up before heading out for fish and chips—Barbara's choice for birthday dinner (a day early). We had a few beers, ran the restaurant out of tomato sauce (aka ketchup), and with full bellies but still a need for dessert, we walked back the long way in search of ice cream. Wah-wah-wah. The gelato stand was closed by the time we got there. We headed back to the boat for what was promised as a final special drink. Barbara pulled out a magnum of champagne from New Caledonia! Amazing! I have never had a magnum of champagne before! They are surprisingly difficult to pour from! ;-) There was a rather large Indian wedding going on at the waterfront event venue, so we drank down the champagne and listened to all manner of bad pop for a few hours before calling it a night way past cruiser's midnight. What an awesome end to the trip aboard Astarte. We are now off to Tongariro National Park and will hopefully have a nice day tomorrow for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. That should tire us out!
Thanks to Barbara and Michael for another wonderful trip. We hope they stay healthy (fingers crossed) and have a successful and trouble-free haul-out.
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