12 May 2014

Our Final Days Cruising In New Zealand - Get The Tissues Ready

Well, this is a bit of a sad post to write - documenting our last days cruising and living aboard our Raven 26 sailboat, Rainbow's End, in New Zealand. After living in New Zealand for over five years and being a sailboat owner for the past year and a half, it is rather bittersweet to say e noho to this beautiful country and to our very first boat. But, as permanent residents of New Zealand, we also know that we'll be saying ki ora again one day to Aotearoa. We're heading back to the States in a few months to buy our next new-to-us boat, so who knows maybe we'll even sail it back to New Zealand in a few years time. 

So here you go, my final day-by-day account of what we got up to. Not too many of my usual weird ramblings or strange stories this time, but there are some pretty pictures.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

We woke up in Station Bay on the eastern side of Motutapu Island. I have good memories of this place from the Stewart 34 barbeque last year, some of which seem to be a bit fuzzy! There might have been a fair bit of rum flowing. We almost lost our dinghy that night because someone forgot to put the bung back in the bunghole in our dinghy. If you don't sail, it would be like leaving all of the windows rolled down in your car and then parking it in a lake. This time, we had a much more relaxing experience. No rum and no dinghy dramas.

Station Bay, Motutapu Island
After waking up with our best friend, Mr. Joe Java, we headed over to Rakino Island to go for a walk. What we didn't count on was that everyone else had the same idea. It was super crowded. And unless I've been drinking rum, I generally don't like super crowded anchorages. But, when you have gorgeous weather and the summer boating season is coming to an end, you can pretty much find every Aucklander out on the water. So we had breakfast in our cockpit in Woody Bay and did the old curtain twitching thing - you know, checking out everyone else in the anchorage and willing them to leave with our magical ESP powers.

Woody Bay, Rakino Island

Unfortunately, our ESP powers were on the fritz and nobody seemed to be in any hurry to leave, so we ended up leaving and doing a circumnavigation of Rakino Island before we headed over to good old, reliable Islington Bay for the night. Everyone who sails in Auckland knows Islington Bay. It is a large, well sheltered bay which sits between Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands and is relatively close to Auckland which makes it popular with local boaties. So it seemed fitting that we spent our last couple of days anchored there. 

Islington Bay, Motutapu & Rangitoto Islands

Monday, 31 March 2014

The next day, we went for a walk out to Emu Point on Motutapu Island and had a lovely little picnic. Of course, if you're going to have a picnic on the island, pick your spot carefully as it is covered in cow patties. 

Emu Point, Motutapu Island
And this was also the day of yet another one of our dinghy misadventures when we decided to carry our dinghy over a ferry and lower it down into the water. Some barnacles and I had a run-in. I was going to include a picture of the cuts on my leg to get sympathy, but decided against it. Here is a picture of the ferry instead. I now have a scar on my leg to remind me of our cruising adventures in New Zealand. Much cheaper than getting a tattoo. Possibly less painful too.

You try carrying a dinghy over this ferry and see if you don't fall against the side of the boat ramp.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April Fool's Day and our last day of cruising - not sure if the universe is trying to tell us something? We tried our best to sail back to Auckland, but there was a distinct lack of wind. So we ended up motoring most of the way. Kind of a sad way to spend your last day cruising on your sailboat - not sailing that is. Here are some final shots of our way back to the marina. 

Bean Rock in the Waitemata Harbour
View of the Auckland skyline and port.
And back where our adventures all started - Westhaven Marina

Total nautical miles for this trip = 20
Number of dinghy misadventures = 1
Number of near misses with the cow patties = 1
Number of Aucklanders out on the water = 1.42 million (it seemed like everyone was out there!)
Number of boats we've owned = 1
Number of boats we've sold = 1
Number of tears shed = Nil (we're tough little cookies)


  1. When are you leaving, or are you already gone? I am sure you will be back some day. Just keep on blogging.

    1. I'm in Auckland for a little while before I head off. I'll email you - it would be good to catch up before I take off. I want to hear more about your yenta in the park adventures :-)

  2. We have rally enjoyed reading the NZ postings, especially the ones where you took a walk. Safe travels to the US and we hope you enjoy your hunt for a new vessel on which to continue the journey.

    Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream Puff

    1. Not to worry, we have some more walk posts coming up. When you don't have a boat, you have to fill your time somehow and walking is a good way to do that :-)

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