Sunday, March 16, 2014

Waiheke Island, Pasifika Festival, and Cyclone Lusi: Auckland New Zealand February 16 - March 15 2014

 After two months home to visit family and friends, we are now back in New Zealand.

Mazu was left “on the hard” at Half Moon Bay Marina. We had new bottom paint applied installed new chart plotters and various other maintenance items done.  Luckily there is a small motel right next to the marina so we did not have to always stay on the boat while it was in the dusty yard. We expected to be on the hard for the first two week of our return but as always, things took longer than we thought. So here we are still on the hard, waiting to splash, any day now.

On weekends we try to have some fun. One day we took the ferry from here to Waiheke Island. Let me back up a bit. Auckland is in an area called the Hauraki Gulf. There are many islands in this area most accessible by the ferry system here. Or for us just a short sail away.

Waiheke Island:

 In the 70’s Waiheke Island was a mecca for hippies and bohemian artists, now it is a popular Aucklander get-away, with its many wineries, long sandy beaches, and historic village.  The island is quite large and very hilly. It will be our first time driving on the wrong side of the road as we have rented a car for the day.

Our first stop is the Saturday Market in the town of Osted, a mix of yard sale and crafts, with lots of food booths thrown in. I purchase some yummy local honey. We are then off to circumnavigate the island by car. This proves to be very stressful for both of us, as the roads are very narrow with no shoulder, and it is after all Mel’s first time driving on the wrong side.

We manage to have a great lunch at Onetangi beach. We see several boats at anchor here it looks like a great place to hang out.  The scenery is spectacular with many views of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City.
Pasfika Festival:

As New Zealand is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world it hosts a yearly celebration of Pacific Island culture, the largest one in the world.

Western Springs Park a very large park in Auckland is transformed into 11 Pacific Island villages where you can experience the food, music, arts/crafts, and dance of each island. Each village has its own stage, for performances, and market area where you can buy food or local crafts. Many of the islands represented were ones we have visited on our way here. It was fun to hear the music, see the dances and the craft works. We also got to “preview” Fiji, where we plan to sail this season.

For the first time Hawaii was represented. We were treated with a performance by the world famous Hawaiian singer/songwriter/guitar player Keola Beamer, a highlight of the day!

 Cyclone Lusi:

We sailed to New Zealand to get out of the cyclone “belt” of the Pacific Islands, so we were surprised to read that one was heading our direction… yikes!

Mazu is still sitting on the hardstands out of the water. While she is ok to go back in we decide that with a lack of a secured marina slip our best bet is to keep her in the hardstands while we high tail it to a motel for a few days.

The wind blew and it rained a bunch but all in all Lusi was less of a hit as predicted. Still I was glad not to be on the boat during those high winds. As we rode around the bus after the worst day we were surprised to see very little wind damage and /or debris on the roads. And best of all our boat was safe and sound.

Next week we will finally return to the water, get our barring’s and start cruising again… 

New Zealand Sunset

1 comment:

gusterbunny said...

I love the pic of you in the white blouse! I need a copy for my picture wall :-) Love you~