May is the usual time that cruisers start planning to leave NZ and head back to the tropics. Most folks finish up boat work and anything needed to ensure a safe passage up to the islands. The average miles to get back up is about 900 nautical miles. For us going back to Fiji, it's over 1,000. It usually takes about 7-10 day depending on weather. Everyone starts to look for a good weather window.
As lots of boat started leaving in May, we were still working on getting the boat ready. Geoff found a crack in the chain plate that holds our forestay. So, that was taken out and another one was made. We added a roller furling for our solent stay and we purchased two more solar panels. So, we were not ready to leave quite yet. The third week in May saw the majority of the boaters leave New Zealand with the ICA Rally (Interisland Cruising Association) as they made their way to Tonga. There are about a handful of boats left in Opua waiting to head up. We were dubbed the Leftover Cruising Club.
While continuing to prepare the boat and waiting for weather, we spent our last days with our friends from SV Pesto. Their sailing journey has ended and they are heading back to the States. We are incredibly sad to see them go, but excited for their adventure of being on land and integrating back into land society. They were one of the first families we met while we cruised the Sea of Cortez and Mexico. We shared a lot of travel history with them and really enjoy their personalities and company. We will miss seeing them at anchor, but look forward to seeing them again in the future.
We bought this 2003 Honda Odyssey and drove it all over NZ. It was a great car, but needed to sell her before we left for Fiji. We were able to sell her bout 2 weeks before we left.
We also bought a new dinghy. A 3.0 (meter) OC Tender. It was time to upgrade to something that could carry all four of us with an outboard. The rowing Peapod was getting a little too small and hard to row with 2 growing boys.
There goes the Peapod. We sold it to a great couple who appreciates the wood architecture of a rowing/sailing dinghy.
We were able to spend the last weeks with our friends from Pesto before they left for the United States. We visited the Pompallier Mission. They had the original printing press on display.
They tan the leather for the book covers.
Origins of printing phrases
Pompallier Mission Visitors center
Messing around in front of the Mission
We visited a Kauri wood factory
Mahoe Cheese dairy
Mahoe farm cows
Taking a break at a waterfall ourside of Kerikeri
With SV Full Circle and SV AnnaCaroline at the waterfall
Next post will hopefully be of us landing in Fiji!