This summer my sister Barb and I toasted 50 years of holidays at the family beach house. Back in that first summer of '65, family meant Mum and Dad and us four kids, then aged 4 to 8. We were never less than a crowd, right from the start. Friends came with their kids, pitched a tent and stayed for the golden weather. There is always golden weather in New Zealand somewhere during the summer if you wait around for it.
|Late January on Whangapoua beach with Bridget|
|The easterlies brought in big waves along the Coromandel coast|
|No road between us and the beach|
Every summer the personnel is a little different, and some years - including this one - the tail-end of a stray tropical cyclone can drop tons of water over campsites and barbecues for a few days. But that said, so much remains the same about summer at the beach that if it weren't for the photos you'd barely be able to remember who was there in which year.
|Dinner on the deck - it was cool that evening|
|Bex is a whizz cake maker - this one is for Andy's birthday|
|The stripes have it|
|The sweetcorn is local|
|Dave and Louis contemplating the next shot|
|Pauls and Louis|
|Deck action - and below|
|Puds saw out 2015 with a smile|
|Mike - new recruit to the game of golf|
|Madi and Sam|
|Louis teaches Lou how to use a phone|
|Freddy on Surething - Andy took his boat back to Auckland before the weather turned nasty because...|
|...when the wind blows into Bucks, it's no fun on a mooring...|
|...especially when your mooring breaks.|
|Mike, Sam and Greta...la dolce vita on Enki|
|Guess who's out on the harbour - the Commodore and team|
|Man O' War vineyard on Waiheke (and below)|
Tomorrow we're casting off the lines again., this time for much longer. Westhaven has been an excellent short-term bolt-hole, but it's time to go north. Enki is now re-provisioned for what we hope will be a month or more of cruising. We're thinking Bay of Islands and beyond, as well as Great Barrier Island, weather permitting. This jaunt is not an afterthought. When we planned our voyaging, part of the deal was that we allow time to go to places in New Zealand that we've heard our friends talk about for years, but never had a boat in situ to explore. Now it's our turn. And we might even try putting a line in the water again.
|The skipper on holiday at Whangapoua|