Nach dem Gottesdienst in der ältesten Kirche Neuseelands heute früh, sind wir mit der Fähre in die Otehei Bucht auf der Urupukapuka Insel gefahren (auch wenn ich das ganz schnell sage klingt es nicht ganz richtig!). Keine Autos, schöne Wanderwege, Sandstrand mit warmen Wasser und Sonne, wunderbar. Heute bin ich mehr geschwommen als Sheila und sie ist mehr gewandert. Ein schöner Tag.
We enjoyed our evening with Tom and his daughters (Sarah is in the UK right now), and yesterday we had a visit from Drew and Katrina, who made a nice dinner for us. We missed most of the heavy storm, but the South Island was badly hit. The Tasman district where we stayed a week ago is cut off due to flooding and land slides.
We drove north to the Bay of Islands today and are staying in a little cottage on a hill in vineyards. Our view includes the ocean, and the weather here is great.
We enjoyed the Art Deco Festival in Napier, but moved on north today. We are staying in a hacienda style hotel just outside Tauranga. There are sandy beaches all around. Tonight we are meeting friends from our time in Canterbury. The weather is still nice and hot, tomorrow the remnants of tropical storm Gita should bring some rain, but we are far enough north to avoid the worst of it.
We have come to the town of Napier in Hawkes Bay today. We are staying at the beach a little out of town and have been swimming already. Very refreshing in temperatures that reached 33 degrees today.
This city was destroyed in an earthquake in 1931 and rebuilt in Art Deco. This weekend is their annual Art Deco Festival. A lot of people in town dress up accordingly, only cars from that time are allowed to drive in the inner city and their are lots and lots of events, some free. Great fun to wander about and watch.
We spent a wonderful evening with Brian and Nicole yesterday. They bought Blue Raven from us in 2014, and then sailed from the US to Europe to New Zealand with their daughters. It was great swapping sailing stories. They just sold the boat on and the new owners plan to be in the ARC once again.
Today we took the ferry to the North Island and are staying in the town of Masterton for the night.
We are staying close to Nelson for a few days, enjoying the scenery and good food of the area. Blue Raven was based here, but left a day before we got here. The daughter of friends of ours from Vancouver owns a cafe here, and the coffee culture in New Zealand is very impressive. The weather continues to be warm and mostly sunny.