Friday, December 30, 2016

Farewell to 2016

NEW photos on the "Photo Test" page. Shots of the transmission repair and new galley/refrigeration work.

We have enjoyed our time away from the dock and out at anchor in various spots in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. There are lots of anchorages to choose from based on the wind direction. Because it is "silly season" there are lots and lots of boats out here.

We snuck away from the dock on Christmas morning and met up with our friends Sandy and Rankin for a great Christmas dinner aboard "Gypsea Heart." They generously invited another boater to join us, a single hander aboard the boat "Blazing Shadz" a beautiful aluminum, 70 foot schooner. It was an interesting and fun afternoon. They do know how to entertain!

We reciprocated on Boxing Day with dinner aboard Astarte but unfortunately my back was hurting and I started to get a cold...and I overcooked the beef! The good news (at least from the writer's perspective) is that women rocked at "Sequence" beating the men in several games. They won a few.

We then went to a new anchorage and settled for a few days taking a nice walk one day. The wind switched to the west so we went in search of a new anchorage and went to crowded Motorua Island. We got another nice walk in on the island with great viewpoints and lots of tuis in the trees.

Next we needed to find good internet for some phone calls so we headed to Assassination Cove. We had the place to ourselves for about two hours and then were joined by about 50 other boats!

It is New Year's Eve here in New Zealand and we will continue our few year tradition of a sausage sizzle and games aboard "Gypsea Heart" with lots of champagne. It always proves to be fun and festive and who knows whom they will meet and invite for this occasion!!

Another year is gone and we are grateful to have had a good one though more repairs aboard Astarte than we would have liked. This year we replaced a few major things – the roller furler, the transmission, new anchor and chain, and the refrigerator box. All have been upgrades so that is good. New countertops make the galley have a fresh look. We had the engine carefully looked over and regained our confidence in the "Carl." We got an AIS, but are still working out the kinks to get it and the radio working at the same time without a lot of noise.
Plus lots of the small bits and pieces of regular maintenance and repairs.

We had three sets of guests this year which we really enjoyed. We were both relatively healthy (a few colds and some aches and pains in the joints and backs). We had decent passages (except for the turn-around in May) to and from Fiji and enjoyed our time in north Fiji and New Zealand. We saw a kiwi in the wild this year (that was a highlight) and Michael won "Best dressed" at an event. So we can't complain about 2016 – at least in foreign countries aboard Astarte!

We wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2017. May all your dreams come true.
At 12/14/2016 2:09 AM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 35°18.95'S 174°07.22'E

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