01 – 12 September 2012
Taking Time Out for some Cruising Yarns!
We have met some great people during our 8 years away cruising, some of them were back in Auckland while we were home so it was time to look them up and catch up with what they were doing.
We drove into Westhaven Marina on a sunny Saturday morning and met Ian and Wendy off Remedy, like us they left Auckland in 2004, we met them at our first destination, Musket Cove, Fiji. After that our paths crossed a few times and we last saw them in Turkey 3 years ago. They completed their circumnavigation at the end of last year, Remedy is now tied up on the Sales Berth in Westhaven Marina eagerly seeking a new owner to take her out and explore more of the world, (she’s a lovely boat if you are in the market!). Meanwhile Ian and Wendy are planning their next adventure to South America (by plane!), with a side trip cruising down to Antarctic on an Expedition Vessel – can’t wait to catch up with them again next time to hear all those stories.
We shared a few evenings with John and Wendy off Beyond. We first heard of Beyond on our daily SSB Radio Cruisers Net whilst crossing the Indian Ocean and heading for “Pirate Alley” into the Red Sea. When we finally met them in Turkey it turns out that Wendy is English and her brother went to school with Mark in Kent, meanwhile John is a Kiwi, such a small world! Like Remedy they too completed their circumnavigation last year and are slowly adjusting to “normal life” – with difficulty! They sold Beyond back to the people they had bought her from – with just a few thousand miles added, how handy is that? Mark encouraged John and Wendy to spend a few Thursday afternoons out “rum racing” with the Stewart 34s, so they are getting a taste for life back at sea again.
We caught the bus into the Viaduct Harbour and met up with current cruisers Jean and Alan off Tuatara. We first met them in Morocco although we had “known” them via the SSB Radio Cruisers Net for a couple of years previously. They too crossed the Atlantic this year and we last caught up with them on the cute Caribbean island of Bequia back in January. There we are in the photo below; all kiwi cruisers – rum flowing, golden sands running through our toes, sun shining, warm Caribbean waters lapping at the shore of our private beach, trade winds howling! Also in the photo is Bandit (more on them in a minute) and Irene and Chris off Cuttyhunk, would have loved to have seen them at home, but they have been homeward bound since we farewelled them from in Grenada in February, soldiering on across the Pacific currently in Tonga, only weeks away from returning to NZ waters. Meanwhile Tuatara is still in the Caribbean laying in Trinidad awaiting Alan and Jeans return next month, our paths at sea are unlikely to cross again so it was great to catch up with them on home soil.
Auckland put on a absolute stunner of a day when David and Brenda off Bandit flew in from the Marlborough Sounds and met us for a long lunch on the waterfront in St Heliers. We have shared many an anchorage with them this season since the Canary Islands - we started our crossing of the Atlantic just a couple of days behind them, leapfrogged each other down the Eastern Caribbean Chain and then we “buddy boated” across the Southern Caribbean islands, finally parting ways in Colombia in May when they headed for Guatemala, where Bandit awaits their return, and we to Panama. We talked of our plans for the coming season and it looks like a reunion in the Bay Islands of Honduras is on the cards, can’t wait. They are fun to sail with and its great to have company along the way for those well earned sundowners on balmy tropical islands, ah doesn’t that sound delightful (especially on a chilly Auckland day!)