It is already 2016 in New Zealand and it is starting out on a wet and stormy day. Luckily the big rain didn't start until after 1 am when we made our way back to Astarte. Yup, we were actually still awake for bringing in the New Year and even managed to experience an hour of it before caving in to sleep. That was all thanks to our good friends Sandy and Rankin on "GypseaHeart" who had us over for a tasty dinner and a new game "Settlers of Catan." It is a board game and once set-up and learned, it was good fun. That, along with good food, interesting conversation, lots of laughs and the toasting with several bottles of bubbly and red wine, kept us awake passed the witching hour. There were a few fireworks (set off a tad too close to the boats with all that canvas!) but otherwise it was a relatively quiet night in the Whangarei harbor.
We made it back to Astarte in our dinghy just as the drizzle started and the wind picked up. The rain started in earnest soon after and the boat was quite noisy with the rain and wind. The wind was in just the right direction that being tied to a pile mooring (and not floating at anchor) our stern was facing in the waves hitting against the hull. Then big streams of rain would roll off the solar panel above our heads sounding like a gutter spout next to our heads.
The holidays were quiet with lots of errands and walking around in very nice weather. We still wait on our engine mechanic to come and give us his expert opinion. We have managed to get other projects done – the new side windows were installed (and not leaking yet on this rainy day). Our new cockpit cushions arrived before Christmas and Michael made new covers for them. We've been replacing pillows (finally sewing the Molas from Kuna Yala on them) and pans on the big sales around Christmas. Michael is also burning all our music CDs (and we have plenty) to MP3 format because our CDs were starting to disintegrate (and they said they would last forever!). We've also been cleaning out lockers and reorganizing some weight on the boat. We continue to try to get rid of stuff – but aren't so good at that. We've met some new folks – thanks to the Christmas cookie delivery tradition on Astarte – which meant that lots of cookie baking was being done.
Now we're in another year...we wish each of you a very healthy year...filled with happy times, some fun adventures and lots of love.
At 12/25/2015 5:11 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 35°43.54'S 174°19.74'E
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