That first evening in the bar at the yacht club was when we felt we were home (see previous post). As we motored down the shipping channel into the Waitemata harbour, continued past the wharves and downtown Auckland towards the harbour bridge, and radioed Westhaven marina on approach, we could almost maintain the illusion of being a foreign yacht. But despite the Australian flag which flies from our stern, we know this town well. We're not foreigners here.
|Light winds on the way down from Whangarei|
|Finally, the tray comes home to Auckland.|
|Skytower and skyscrapers....Auckland city from the water|
We got the boat tucked into her berth, did the paperwork at the marina office – and then it was over. Our life flipped, just like that. We were no longer cruisers. We changed costume and dressed for another part, one we used to play routinely but which we needed a little prompting for on that first evening.
|Bridget brought peonies...|
|Barb and Greta came with more spring flowers, already in a vase|
|Be prepared....the bubbles were well chilled.|
The girls arrived with flowers. I wasn’t quite ready for that. Barb knew I wouldn’t be – she brought her bouquet in a vase. We produced a bottle of bubbles from the boat fridge, but that didn’t touch the sides. We very quickly moved onto the bar at the yacht club. No trouble finding more of everything there.
|Athe Royal NZ Yacht Squadron members' bar with Robyn...|
Every night is race night in Auckland, and we celebrated our modest achievement amongst racing yachties fresh in from the course. Little was said of boating. That was not the point of our gathering. The point was that we were back in town, safely. There has been some worrying about us along the way, we know. We couldn’t help that, but we could say thank you – never enough.
|Hey, it's Mike!|
|Mother and doctor (Puds and Warrick)|
|Location, location, location....Westhaven marina|
|The Auckland harbour bridge, naturally lit, from the RYNZS|
We fly out to Sydney tomorrow. By the weekend (all going according to schedule) we’ll be living in our own house again. Nobody will want to see our boat papers or hook us up to electricity. We’re re-connecting to shore power at an entirely different level.
|Getting the feel of a bigger galley - at Warrick and Robyn's Ponsonby place|
|You can't get closer to the sea than my mum's new house on Orewa beach|
|Checking out Mum's garden and dealing with her dog's need for affection|
Actually, we’re leaving the boat for a few weeks only. We’ll be back in Auckland in the New Year. However, there is a critical difference in our leaving this time. Enki II is for sale.
|The curtains came down, got washed, and went up again - never a pleasure|
We don’t want to make too big a deal about this on the blog. There are other places to do that. Any of you who have difficulty finding those places should let us know. But you could start by googling Hallberg Rassy 48 for sale. …give it a few days. There aren’t many of these beautiful Swedish boats which make it this far, and none others for sale that we know of down under.
|Men in small spaces: (above) Jason the electrician sorts out an alternator problem while (below)|
|Alex climbs into the aft lazarette (must he?)|
|The stuff that comes out...|
We’ve sold boats before, and we have a fairly good handle on the process, but we’ve never before sold a boat which is our home. Enki still feels very much like home as we pack her up and head back to our tribe in Sydney. When we come back for a family beach holiday in January, we’ll be able to introduce her to those of our children who haven’t yet met her. After the holiday is over, we hope to cruise in New Zealand’s northern waters on Enki until the end of summer – or until we sell her. Whichever comes first.
|Do dolphins ever become boring? I don't think so.|