Long weekend in Auckland with Kelley

Early Friday morning we flew to Auckland, New Zealand to spend three and one-half days with our dear friend Kelley Smith.  Kelley worked with me at Brown for years and, starting in June, was managing a research project in American Samoa.  She took ill there and was medically evacuated to Auckland where she is undergoing treatment.

We had a great time with her in Auckland.  Friday night we celebrated my birthday at a nice restaurant in in the Takapuna beach area. The next morning we took a boat to the island of Tiritiri Matangi, which is a preserve for birds.  The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful.  Sunday we went to the farmers market and walked on Takapuna beach along with Jesse who had just arrived from the States to help Kelley through her treatment regimen.  We also had the chance to spend time with Kelley’s parents, Gary and Judy. Gary was also our gracious chauffeur, turning on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal, as I also tend to do in countries with left-hand driving.

There are some photos of our trip to Auckland:

Birthday meal in Takapuna Beach (on the North Shore of Auckland)
On the ferry to Tiritiri Matangi
Laura and Kelley hiking on Tiritiri Matangi
Tiritiri Matangi
Laura at Tiritiri Matangi
Kelley and Mark
Tiritiri Matangi


Mount Glorious

We finally took a half-day off from boat work to drive inland and explore.  We started in Dayboro (“The Town of Yesteryear”) where we surprised the lady in the tourist office by just showing up, then went north to Mount Mee and south to Mount Glorious.

On the way up to Mount Mee we passed the following offering  for sale.  I thought it worthy of a photo, although I imagined it was just a fine natural fertilizer.  Closer inspection revealed that it is being touted as a way to lose weight.  At least that is what I think it says.

Horse poo for sale
The side of the cart touting the product's use as a diet aid

Another interesting sign:

Sign advertising "slashing". It seems that slashing is preferred to choking in Australia

Finally, the view from Mount Glorious is glorious:

View from Mount Glorious


Some new photos from Vanuatu

These are some new photos from our time in Vanuatu (June – September).  We are only now getting around to sorting through all the photos we took this past season.  The video will probably have to wait until we return to the US. — M.

(Click on first photo in a group and then click forward through the group.  There are two groups of photos.)

Group 1:

Group 2:

Back where we started: Scarborough Marina

Yesterday, we left Dockside Marina in downtown Brisbane and sailed the 30 miles to Scarborough Marina, where Sabbatical III will live until next April.  We will remain in the water at a berth until the first week of December at which time we will have Sabbatical III  hauled.

These are some photos of the local fauna taken at two of our favorite parks in Brisbane — the Roma Street Parkland and the Botanical Gardens.

Iguana poses with the statue of an iguana: Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane
Kookaburra: Botanical Garden, Brisbane