A few more highlights from the passage to NZ from New Caledonia. We did see some whales – less than two boat lengths away traveling in the opposite direction. There were at least two – and they were BIG. They stayed on the surface for a long time and then one displayed a nice fluke as he (or she) went deep. We still have to look more closely at the photos Michael got to try to identify what type they were.
We were also buzzed by the New Zealand Air Force "Orion" as we entered New Zealand waters. They flew very low – and it looked almost like a kamikaze attack. They got close enough to be able to read the boat name and then they called us on the radio by name. They asked a few questions and then flew off and buzzed the boat near us. They couldn't quite read that boat name so kept calling the "yellow hulled boat that we've just flown over." That made for some fun entertainment during the passage.
Now that we have been here, we are getting some boat projects completed and some keep getting put on hold. Unfortunately the mechanic we had all booked in advance had a death in his family the day before our appointment so we haven't seen him yet. That is holding up many of the other projects. After moving three times in the Town Basin Marina, we now think we are in our home spot for the rest of the month. We started in a slip for a few days, then moved to one pile mooring, then had to move to a different pile mooring. The boat is all dressed up in Christmas lights and looks quite festive. The lights are solar Christmas lights so when the sun is out all day – the lights stay on most of the night. Unfortunately, not many people can see our boat from the town basin because of where we are located. But we are enjoying the lights anyway.
There is also lots and lots of Christmas cookies being baked aboard – so the boat smells festive. It is a holiday tradition aboard and fun to share the goodies.
We like Whangarei quite a bit and we're doing lots of walking to the various shops as well as stops to see old friends. Its good exercise and we are helping the NZ economy buying lots of things. Hope everyone's enjoying the good parts of the holiday season and keeping the stress levels down.
At 11/30/2015 3:33 AM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 35°43.41'S 174°19.53'E
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