Sunday, February 17, 2008

February 18 - Tauranga, New Zealand

Back in New Zealand, it is mid-summer. Corn, apricots, peaches and blueberries are in season and it is a big month for outdoor festivals. The weather is mostly "fine" (meaning sunny and in the 70's during the day) but highly variable (meaning it can cloud up and rain or blow at any time). We have taken turns being sick with a cold-flu type thing so aren't enjoying the beautiful weather quite as much as we would have liked.
We are living aboard Rasa Manis in a big marina and just bought a 1992 Asian market Toyota wagon for errands and travel while we are here. We hope it will survive our use (knock on wood) and resell for something close to what we paid when we are ready to leave the country. We hope to take off any day now for a tour of the South Island, but between illness and getting orders for new parts and sails finalized, it may take a while to get going.
The Kiwi are so friendly. Yesterday a couple we met on a day trip in December just "popped by" the boat to say hi. We had a serious discussion about the US election. They were very well-informed, which is no surprise - the newspaper and TV coverage of the Clinton-Obama drama is extensive. We often have to work hard to understand people(they seem to understand us just fine!) and get vocabulary assistance from Karen, our neighbor on the dock, a single mother of two girls who has been single-handedly building out her own sailboat for eight years.
Hope the next entry is from someplace else - it's lovely here but the hills and the waters beyond are beckoning.

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