NZ Land Logs 1, Year 2: Headed Back to New Zealand
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2007
Weather in Boston: COLD!
Location: In Flight from Boston to San Francisco

The last log posted to this website was on December 14, 2006. That was the day we flew from New Zealand to the United States. Our first grandchild was due in January, so we left Windbird in Whangarei at the Riverside Marina and headed for Cape Cod in Massachusetts. We are very proud to announce that we are now the grandparents of Samuel Ellery Goldstone. He was born on Sunday, January 21, weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces and is today celebrating his one month birthday and is nearing 10 pounds. He has been keeping his mother and father very busy eating around the clock, but he’s doing great and is an absolute wonder. A couple of nights ago while on “first night watch’, his grandpa was staring at him at 1 AM and commented that watching a sleeping baby is like watching the ocean during a passage. It seems that you can never get enough of those views. Leaving that bundle of joy behind is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life, but we are just so grateful that we were able to share that first month of his new life with him. So I am sitting here on American Flight 823 headed to San Francisco with tears in my eyes and sorrow in my heart at the thought of leaving the “grand’ one, but both Mark and I know it is time to return to our other baby, Windbird. “Sam, we are going to miss you so very much. We love you and know we won’t be able to stay away for long, so we will plan another visit as soon as we can.”

Our two months of visiting friends and family was an absolute whirlwind “tour’. We spent the Christmas holiday with our son Justin, our daughter Heather (now known as Sam’s mommy) and son-in-law Jed (now known as Sam’s daddy) on Cape Cod. It was warmer than usual so we had no white Christmas, but we had a wonderful visit together. Mark and I then headed to North and South Carolina to visit with my brother and sister and their families. There were more than thirty of us together for New Year’s Eve. We spent two weeks there and during that time, Mark’s brother and one of his sisters came up to visit. We can’t remember a time when we have enjoyed being with family so much. We had time to relax, take walks, make “grandmother’ trips to all of the baby stores in North and South Carolina, and just generally enjoy life. The cruising life is fantastic, but the one shortfall is that you can’t take your family with you. One of the main reasons I write these logs is to keep my family with me while we travel. And speaking of keeping my family with me, our son Justin is on his way from Massachusetts to California by way of New Orleans. Last week we helped him pack up everything in his Ashfield, Massachusetts apartment and put it in storage. He is going to give California a try as a place to live. And he has decided to go into competition with me by starting a blog spot of his own. I think he is finding it harder than he thought to make frequent blog entries, but if you would like to check on his travels, his site is found at: http://narasopa.blogspot.com/. He will be in New Orleans until after Mardi Gras and then be on his way west.

While in New England, we made many trips back to Concord, New Hampshire, to visit with friends there, and made a few stops in Boston to visit with family and friends. Mark and I both connected with our friends at New Hampshire Public Radio and in the Concord School District, but there was just not the time to see everyone. Sam arrived a week early to give us more time to spend with him, but it did mean less time for friends. For those people we didn’t get to see, please know that we were thinking of you and will catch up with you during the next visit home. We did have time to meet one of our new website friends, Judith Stuart. We had lunch with her in Concord and enjoyed learning all about her life. She has been emailing our website since the beginning of our voyage and it was really a delight to meet her in person.

So last night we had to leave Sam and his mommy and daddy and travel to Boston. Our flight was early this morning, so my nieces Lynn and Candi came down to visit Sam and transport us back to Boston. They took us out to dinner and surprised me with a happy birthday send off. I had totally forgotten, maybe conveniently, that I will be 60 in just a couple of weeks. Now we are headed back to New Zealand to catch up with cruising friends and to do a road trip of the North and South Islands with our friends Alan & Helaine Kanegsberg of Concord. After that, who knows? We do plan to go back up to the South Pacific islands in late April or May. We haven’t been to Fiji and New Caledonia and Vanuatu yet, and we would like to go back to Tonga to see some things we missed this past year. Then we may go back to New Zealand for another season, or we may begin our trek home.

We leave here with mixed emotions. Going back to New Zealand means going back home -Windbird has become our home. And it is always nice to get home again and sleep in your own bed. But going home for us means leaving family far behind and that is very hard indeed. We have lots of great photos and precious memories of Sam’s first month and I have my “brag book’ that I will keep with me at all times.

Over the next week, I hope to get all of our photos of our trip home uploaded to this website. Our road trip around New Zealand begins on Friday of this week and I’m not sure how often I will get to post logs once we are on the road. I’m sure there will be internet connections along the way and when there are I will keep you posted on our land travels.

We hope you will write occasionally to let us know what is happening in your lives. Just click “Comment’ to send a message, but remember that anything you write there will be posted on the website. We will be thinking of you as we continue our adventures and write our logs.

NZ Land Logs 2, Year Two: At Home in Warm, Fuzzy New Zealand