Our second week in Opua
Monday 7th November, today would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday. I wonder what he would have thought of our journey, I’m sure he’s watching from wherever he is. In the morning I went to the town of Pahia on the Yachtie Shuttle. It’s the main town of the Bay of Islands and full of hotels and B&Bs. I managed to find a hairdressing salon for a much needed haircut before I walked up to the Countdown supermarket (very similar to Sainsburys) to do the shopping. It’s difficult to adjust to the thought that it’s no longer necessary to buy huge quantities of basic food items. In the islands if we found the local shop had onions or carrots or other such supplies we bought large quantities not knowing when we would see it next. The shuttle picked us up from the supermarket and I spent the rest of the day finding homes for all my purchases.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent sewing. The stitching on the dinghy cover has suffered badly from the UV light. Many of the seams were coming undone because the cotton was rotten. I spent all day re-stitching every single seam. The mainsail stack pack bag got caught in the reefing lines and ripped on our way to NZ so we had to take off the main sail before we could strip it off and then the reverse to put it back on again. Another day gone.
Thursday, with most of the jobs completed or parts ordered, we packed up and left the marina. It was good to get out into the Bay of Islands. It’s still spring here and a little on the chilly side but the air is so fresh. We sailed north to the Te Puna inlet and anchored north of the Keri Keri peninsular alongside Forteleza, an ICA rally boat. We have our full aft cover up at the moment and sat listening to the kiwis (feathered kind) calling to each other during the evening.
Our position on Friday 11th November
We got up early on Friday morning and dinghyed around the peninsular to Doves Bay marina where David keeps SeaEsta. My adopted grand daughter Eva saw us coming and was running around the deck calling us. As she’s just learning to talk she pronounces our names as “Shue and Bwill”; she’s so sweet. David very kindly drove us back to Keri Keri to meet his parents then lent us his car for two days, the kiwis are kind like that. We were able to get so much done, new duvets from the Warehouse, gas bottles filled, Bill’s computer sorted out and more shopping.
Saturday was the day of the Waimate North show. Having enjoyed it last year we decided to go again, it’s a cross between a fete and an agricultural show, and a kiwi institution. We picked up Kerri and Tony from Forteleza and motored around the headland in the dinghy again, jumped into David’s car and headed out to the show. We were going to join David at his house and all go to the show together but he had an infected foot so couldn’t come with us. The first thing we saw were the Alpacas, they were gorgeous and so soft.
There was a sheepdog display showing how they round up the sheep, something they have plenty of in NZ, as well as equestrian events. There were several marquees displaying local food items to eat or take home with you, several of which we enjoyed for lunch.
The centrepiece of the show was the display of local handicrafts, flowers, vegetables and the children’s crafts. The perfume from the flowers as you entered the room was glorious.
The workmanship displayed was brilliant, especially the children’s exhibits.
We spent most of the day looking around the showground and bumped into quite a few cruisers who had also made it there; it made us feel like a local.
We had a lazy Sunday morning before lifting the anchor and heading back to Opua for the start of the All Points Rally, a land based rally of seminars and entertainment organised by John and Lyn of the ICA for the boats just arriving in NZ. A marquee had been erected for the main events and while sitting down registering I felt a tap on my shoulder. When I turned round our good friends Norman and Sara from the yacht Norsa were standing there. Past BWR participants, they have spent the last year in the UK while Norsa was in NZ but were now back on Norsa to join us cruise NZ and also to sail back to Fiji together next year, it was a wonderful surprise to see them.
The rally got off to a good start with a Pot Luck supper that evening.