Whanga-rain: December 6, 2007

It has been raining and grey in Whangarei for the last few days with the weather forecast predicting more of the same until we leave this coming Tuesday. Oh well, I guess it is one more step in getting back to reality. We had two sets of visitors this week – one day our friends from Yara drove down from Opua to see us and the next day the Risho Marus came. Both have new “used” cars and they are having a good time doing a little exploring and getting shopping done the easy way. Used cars seem to be incredibly cheap here – for $1,000 you can get a decent car or van. I guess only time will tell if they are in good working order. We borrowed a car one afternoon from some new friends on Lorna (another Amel). They are a Swedish couple, Bo and Vivi, who are just a few slips down the dock from us in Riverside Marina. It is the 4th time that Lorna has been to New Zealand. They have been very friendly and helpful, giving us info about the place and offering us the use of their car whenever we want it. They even offered to drive us all the way to the Auckland airport next week – something we declined since it is at least a 2.5 hour drive each way.

We have been getting some small errands done in preparation for leaving the boat and going through Mark’s extensive list of boat jobs that need to be done – oil and filter changes, meeting with engine experts, sailmakers, riggers and others who will be doing some work on the boat in our absence. Friends here have promised to look in on the boat as often as possible to make sure things look alright and to make sure no little critters have moved onboard.

Just a week-end left in New Zealand and then we will fly home. Our first night off the boat in a year will be spent sleeping on a plane. That should be different! At least we don’t have to stand watch.

We look forward to seeing family and friends soon. Hannah will be returning to Providence a few days after us, after spending the last 4 months in Madagascar studying, among other things, octopus fishermen, and Ben will be coming back for a brief visit from Portland where he just landed a job. It will be the first time in more than a year that the Pitt family has been all together.

Thanks to all our loyal blog fans – we hope we were entertaining – and we promise to pick up where we left off when we continue our journey next May. We’ll be working on the blog when we get back – doing some clean up, adding pictures, etc. – so you may want to check it out once in a while.

Fair winds …..