Thursday, June 4, 2015

Last Days in New Zealand

Top of Mt. Ruapehu seen from the plane
Almost three weeks ago, Mark and I returned to the North Island by plane from Christchurch. We settled into Axel’s “office flat” in Auckland for the remainder of our time in New Zealand. It is so generous of him to let us stay here and we are very fortunate and happy to have friends like Axel and Liz! Since one of the reasons we left our boat was to focus on work, our business and being in a western environment, that is exactly what we have been doing these last weeks. Pressurized, hot showers, unlimited Wifi and electricity, a normal kitchen with a full size fridge and plenty of space to walk around or hide in another room… we have it all in this apartment, in the middle of the city! Mark has gotten a lot of work done in regards to research, testing and software development for The Wirie pro and we are glad to report that The Wirie business is doing really well, thanks to an article about our product in the renowned sailing magazine Cruising World. I managed to write some and work on my photographs.

On our days off, when the weather was pleasant enough, Mark and I did some walks in and about town. One day we climbed Mt. Eden, one of the 50 dormant volcanoes in Auckland, for a nice 360 degree view. Another day, we walked all the way from the city to Mission Beach, along the windy waterfront. We even went to the cinema to see Mad Max – Fury Road! The last time that happened was five years ago, when we saw Avatar in a movie theater in St. Martin and our friend Ed, on SV Nini watched Darwin for the evening. Every day, until they left on vacation, we also spent some quality time with our ex-cruising (SV Gudrun) friends/accommodating hosts and enjoyed the company of their five month old son Arno. He is such a pleasure to cuddle and be with!

Arno and his space ship
The weather, although pretty rainy, has not been too cold recently, which is great. Or, we have gotten used to 15 degree temperatures (upper 50s Fahrenheit) and wearing long clothes and a jacket! In between rain showers, we manage to walk to the grocery store, and this weekend we hope to visit one of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf. We’ll take our umbrella. It will be quite the shock to our bodies again when we head back to Irie in Moorea, in a few days. Unfortunately, she hasn’t sold yet, so we will have to make new plans. We dropped her asking price again, to a more than fair $129,000, so if you know anyone who is interested in a well-maintained, lovely catamaran that is ready to go cruising in the Pacific islands, let us know! :-) Details about “Irie for sale” can be found on

See you back in French Polynesia!

Arno loves cameras, just like his daddy!

Liz handing Arno his favorite toy

The Sky Tower in Auckland; Mark and I keep calling it "the Needle"

Walking towards Mount Eden, seen in the background

Mt Eden's grassy crater and the city center in the distance

Suburbs of Auckland, seen from Mt Eden

View from the top of the volcano

Arno, king of the flat!

Church near Albert Park, Auckland

Rail workers fixing a joint

The container port of the city
Mission Beach - not the prettiest, but nice as a city beach
Saying goodbye and thank you to our friends Axel and Liz, who are going on a holiday with Arno

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