Our circumnavigation of the North Island is complete. We can confirm that it is indeed an island! Two and a half months and 1,300 nautical miles. It was a magnificent trip. Here are some highlights from the second half:
After spending 3 weeks in Abel Tasman we left for Nelson, which we enjoyed. Particularly the outdoor craft market on Saturdays. Then off to Marlborough Sound and finally Picton.
Marlborough Sound was majestic, but the walks and hikes were not as accessible. Also the anchorages more challenging due to depth, holding and numerous moorings. At Picton we meet up with Mike and Marny from Picara …..and they took us for a very nice walk trail walk. Awesome scenery. We also saw the little hector dolphins that seemed to be attracted by our dinghy.
The trip back up was challenging. Leaving Picton, we wanted to do a non stop 4 days to Opua. However the wind did not cooperate. We therefore stopped a few places along the way, which turned out to be a lot of fun. We were amazed at the beauty of the coast line, and of course the sunrises.
One of the places we stopped was Napier in Hawkes Bay. We celebrated Michael’s birthday with lunch at one of the wineries. Hawkes Bay is known for it’s wine region and Napier for the Art Deco architecture. In the 1930’s the city was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt in the style of the time. It is one of the most interesting and beautiful cities we have seen so far in New Zealand.
Another stop we did was Mayor island. To our great surprise we were welcomed by seals. There was a colony of seals just a few meters from our boat. Being an inactive volcano, Mayor island is also known for its obsidian (black lava glass). You can see layer of obsidian mixed with earth. The geological aspect of the island is very interesting and the water very clear. So we also went for a nice COLD snorkel!
What do seals do during the day?
So, here we are back in Opua getting ready to head north for another season. Final boat preparations, groceries, watching weather windows, etc. The list never seems to end. But who’s complaining. We get to start vacation after just finishing vacation.