Day 407, Year 1: Whangarei Welcomes World Cruisers
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Weather: Still No Change–Blue Skies, Sunny, Temperature in the 60’s
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

Today started with calls to the US to make appointments for physical exams, eye exams, dental appointments, and every other kind of exam you can imagine. Since we have been gone for over a year, we knew we needed to make these appointments. I called using Skype and it only cost two cents a minute. You know how you have to wait when calling doctors’ offices, so I was really glad I was using Skype rather than a regular telephone. Mark decided to rent a car today to do some of the running around he needed to do, and I stayed aboard Windbird and did a long overdue cleaning of the inside of the boat. Before we knew it, it was 3:00 and time to go to the Whangarei welcome dinner for cruisers. It was held at the Whangarei Cruising Club and started early so we could be introduced to the mayor and all of the major marine businesses in town before dinner. Over a hundred cruisers attended, with over half coming down from Opua on a bus. It was a very nice event with great food and it gave us another chance to connect with lots of people we have met over the past few months. Bob McDavitt, the New Zealand weather guru spoke and gave us the news that tomorrow bad weather returns to New Zealand. Bummer. It has been so beautiful, but I guess we will have to endure a few bad days before sunshine returns once again.

We sat at a table with Richard, Marilyn, and Barrie of Lady in White from England. We met Richard and Marilyn back in Moorea, but we hadn’t met Barrie previously. Barrie and Marilyn have spent time in the US and they were talking about touring California. Barrie mentioned that Marilyn Monroe was once the Artichoke Queen of California, and that brought on the artichoke stories. It was great fun.

We have the rental car until tomorrow afternoon, so tomorrow morning will be a whirlwind of shopping and information seeking stops. When we return here in late February, we plan to do some land touring with our friends Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg from Concord, so we want to do some price checking on car rentals versus car purchasing. This will also give us the chance to see where things are in town. Since the weather is supposed to be stormy, I’m sure glad we will have the car to do these explorations. Walking in the rain is not my favorite activity.

061129 Day 407 New Zealand–Whangarei Welcomes Cruisers
Day 408, Year 1: A Rainy Day in Whangarei (fon-gar-ay)
Day 406, Year 1: Happy Hour at Town Dock