Day 421, Year 1: Final Log from the Voyage of Windbird, Year One
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Weather: Very Windy and Much Cooler (evening temp 57 degrees F)
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

We are almost ready to leave Windbird and return home to visit for the next two months. The stainless is all polished, the last coat of varnish in on the cockpit cap rail, all of the souvenirs and memorabilia from the past year are packed and ready to go, our new bicycle wheels arrived from Dahon and we picked up our bikes in town this afternoon and rode them home, and the parts arrived today for our Monitor Wind Vane. At 9:45 tomorrow morning, we will leave here with Roger from the sailing vessel Wings and Strings. He is flying out of Auckland for Florida tomorrow, so he offered us a ride. So off we will go.

It is almost impossible for us to believe that we have sailed from Boston to New Zealand during that past 420 days, but we have an odometer that tells us that we have come over 13,000 miles since October 18, 2005. We have used these logs to keep in touch with friends and family, and along the way we have met new people who have emailed us through the website. People we have never met have become friends. We were contacted a few times by people who were trying to get in touch with other cruisers and we were able to make those connections. Then there was . . .

Bill Schnurr, physician and former physical therapist. Bill was from Michigan but is now off on his own sailing adventure with his wife Julie in S/V Compania. When I broke my leg, Bill sent suggestions and was so very helpful.

Kathleen Molinaro from Florida. Kathleen’s boyfriend, John Huber, was crewing on S/V Endangered Species. Kathleen found our website and kept tract of John’s progress by reading our logs.

People like Judi Stuart from New Hampshire and Tillerman from New Jersey I believe. Judi wrote to us often and we are planning to have lunch with her in mid-January and to finally meet face to face.

New Hampshire Public Radio friends-Doreen Kilby, Scott McPhearson, and Beth Szelog were the “regulars”.

Concord School District friends-Sue Robichaud, Tom and Detta Porat, Barb Thomas and Lucille Watt from CHS, and the ever faithful Linda Stuart.

Various public radio station managers-Wayne Roth, Dan Campbell, Dave Spizale, Richard Eisworth, and Tim Eby who succeeded Mark as Chair of the NPR Board.

And the list goes on and on. My sister Patsy, my daughter Heather, and my sister-in-law, Sue Cook, were my almost daily email contacts. And none of this communication would have been possible without my son Justin’s constant vigilance over the website he created for us.

There’s no way to mention all of the people here who contacted us through the website, but if you did, please know that we truly appreciated each and every email. It was great fun to share our fantastic journey with you.

Over the Christmas holidays, my son Justin and I will add a new home page to this website organizing the past year’s logs by location. I will continue to post logs from time to time sharing our adventures back home and our land travels here in New Zealand. Mark also hopes to post a few Captain’s Ramblings while we are home that will summarize some of the “technical” highlights from the past year. We have learned SO much and we want to find a way to share that with future cruisers. In late March we will return to Whangarei and begin preparations for Year Two. At that point, I will begin writing daily logs once again. Until then, happy holidays to all and thank you so much for being a part of Windbird’s Voyage.

061213 Day 421 New Zealand–Whangarei to Auckland
Life After Windbird, Day 41: Celebration of Life for Mark
Day 420, Year 1: Getter Closer