APRIL 2015

Fall already?

It's starting to get quite chilly again – long pants, sweaters and jackets are coming out of the closet – it's time to move on before some serious cold hits us here, now that the cyclone season in the Pacific is nearing its end. Since coming back from visiting our family and friends we were touring the South Island in a small camper van. Our trip started with wine tasting in Marlborough region, where most of New Zealand wine is produced. If you like nature this is a paradise for you, if you like to ride a motorcycle this is a dream come true. Roads are winding like a never ending snakes! Scenery beyond belief. Curve after curve, km after km, rarely a straight line. From the wild West coast bordering the Tasman Sea to snow-capped peaks, giant ferns, flying albatrosses, billions of sheep, walking tracks indicated every few kilometers, there is no way to get bored. We could have spent the entire summer roaming this part of NZ but we had only three weeks to spare and yet managed to log over 4,000 km while circling the entire South Island Back in Whangarei we took Vanille to the boatyard to finalize the last preparation for the coming season – antifooling paint, hull wax, etc. – now we are back floating and filling her up with supplies needed for the next six months in Fiji. The last few days we spent exploring the three supermarkets here and other stores for goodies and bargains on wines, beer, boat parts spares, etc., and then trying to find a place to store all this inside Vanille. Who said we were retired! This is work! In a couple of days we will leave this place, will go and play with the wind and sea, test all the new equipment installed and then will seek a good spot and will start monitoring the weather for crossing to Fiji. With a bit of luck and mother nature cooperation we should be underway before mid May.