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Showing posts from January, 2018

Storm Bound in Tutukaka

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Well we are still in Tutakaka. We arrived on Saturday and spent Sunday cleaning up the boat and cleaning the teak decks, a job that seems to come around all too frequently. On Monday we decided to take a shuttle bus to Whangarei for Debi to get her hair done, do a spot of provisioning and investigate a better way of getting an affordable data allowance. When we got to the town centre at about 9:15 everything seemed very deserted with only a few shops open. It took us about 45 minutes to confirm our fears. It was a bank holiday! Thankfully a few shops were open so we managed the provisioning and we managed to get a really good data deal through Vodafone. We are now testing how much data we can chew through when we are both stuck on the boat waiting on weather! 
Yesterday we had one of the highlights of the trip so far, we went diving at the Poor Knights Islands. This a marine reserve about an hour off the coast and the impact of having reserve status is immediately apparent as soon as y…

Southbound

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We departed our berth at Bay of Island Marina on 20th January and had a very lazy one hour motor to the town of Russell where we dropped anchor. We visited Russell before Christmas by ferry, but we didn’t really have chance to look around and it also has a good pub! So we got the trusty dinghy inflated using our new electric pump and went for a nice walk around Russell and then up the hill to a famous flagpole. This was the scene of repeated disputes between the Maori and British in the early days, when the pole was repeatedly cut down by the Maori Chief or his men.  They eventually cleared up the dispute after many years and the flag pole has been standing ever since 
It was then down the hill for a well earned pint at the Duke of Marlborough hotel. We managed to say hello to Oliver Holmes who works at the hotel and is the son of one of our friends who climbed to Everest Base camp with us last year. Pat tried his hand at fishing off the back of the boat in the evening and was surprise…

Back Onboard

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After our Christmas break back in Sydney, we are back onboard X-Pat. 
We have had a few days touring the Northland with a hire car. Although the weather was rubbish with heavy rain and windy, we did manage to see the Kauri trees across on the west coast. One is believed to be the largest in the Southern hemisphere and another one of the oldest trees in the world at around 3000 years old. Pretty astounding. 



We visited the Omata vineyard for lunch yesterday and used a voucher from Secret Santa thank you!  
Today we have done a few checks on the boat and are all ready to set off on a casual cruise south tomorrow. Watch this space ...