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March 1, 2007 Thurs
We drove up to 90 mile beach first thing in the morning and we hung out at the beach all day. We met some fun locals there who hung out with us a bit too. Elisabeth was collecting some mussels off the rocks as well. It was a beautiful spot. I lost my favorite bucket cap though. I was totally bummed. I almost lost Jason's hat too! We were going to spent the night on the beach but it started to rain hard. We decided to check out the only hostel that was in this town. It was a house and seemed to have a lot of guys staying there. We decided it would not be a good place for her to stay alone and went to another place a little out of town. It was much nicer and had nice cabins. We all hung out in her room having some drinks and talking.
March 2, 2007 Fri
Jason got up and went to the beach early while we slept in. We took showers and then made some breakfast and decided to head back to the boat. We were all tired of driving and just wanted to get to the boat and relax. Poor E was getting car sick all the time too! We stopped in Keri Keri on the way back to pick up some provisions for our week of sailing to Waiki Island. There are a bunch of wineries there. I stopped at a travel agent first and met them there. We got to the boat and I went over first with the first load of groceries and to do a little laundry. E realised that she left her camera at the hostel. She was spending the time tracking it down. We ran into Jonah and stopped at his boat for a drink of rum. He is super nice and it was great to see him agian. His boat is still on the hard being worked on.
March 3, 2007 Sat
We started to sail to head for Whaiki island where there are tons of wineries. But mid way suring the sail E was getting so seasick that we all agreed to just stop and sail around the bay of islands. We stopped at Redhead island. We took the dingy around the three islands in the area to check them all out. It was pretty fun. Jason collected some mussels for dinner and E cooked them the way Olaf's famly makes them and they were delicious!! We decided that we will move to a more protected anchorage tomorrow. We had a nice hike on the island as well today.
March 4, 2007 Sun
we spent today hiking around the new island we were on! It was really gun but quite a long hike. I was started to hurt pretty bad and E was getting tired and sore. We we hurried back and she jumped in the ocean to swim around before headin back to the boat. Jason went out fishing and to check onthe lobster trap. He came back empty handed. It was a bummer but E made a rack of lamb for us that was incredible. We ate like kings. We are having such a fantastic time.
March 5, 2007 Mon
We had an awesome day of hanging out on the boat while Jason went fishing. We cranked up the radio and drank some drinks and made yummy lunches and dinners and danced all day and into the night on the bow of the boat!! There were quite a few boats there but it seemed that no on minded. All I can say is it was a super fun night and given there was no night clubs around the Biz was transformed!! I think the mast makes a great dance platform!
March 6, 2007 Tues
We woke up a little tired. We all slept in late. I of course was the last one up like every morning. Elisabeth told me that she loves the mornings on deck with just her and the views (and birds of course). I can relate to that from my watches. That is the reason I like the late night and early morning watches it is just an incredible feeling. Especially when the sun rises. We decided to stay one more night and we hiked and just hung out on the boat . We took the dingy and went to get some more mussles as well and we ate mussels for lunch and mussels for dinner!! Last night E made them Olaf’s family style in a broth and it was fantastic. Then this morning we were mulling over how we should prepare them when E decided she could make the dynamite sauce. We boiled them and then put the sauce on them and broiled them until just hot. They were so delicious!!! We really are eating like kings! We had a little more of a mellow party tonight with just our last bottle of wine with dinner. E and I sat up on deck until almost 1am talking and drinking the last 2 shots of the lemoncello. What a great night. I am so happy to see E distressed compteletly finally!!
March 7, 2007 Wed
Our big plan was to sail back and clean on the way Which we did. I also made some more dynamite mussels for lunch. We forgot the lobster trap after we pulled up anchor so I had to keep the sailboat in a holding pattern while Jason went to pick up the lobster trap, which was empty, bummer. When we arrived I would stay behind and clean out the refrigerator and freezer while E picked up her camera and then helped Jason with the Laundry. Ok can you say nightmare? I got a call on the VHF from Jason telling me that E’s camera was never sent!! How lame was that hostel that they could not figure out how to send a package COD or even call us to let us know there was a problem so we could figure another to get the camera!! They had told us that they would call if a problem arose with mailing it to Opua Maria. Silly us, we believed them! She had to go to a post office and send them a package to mail it in with the postage already on it just to get it to Jason and I and we would mail it home to her. Poor girl, just when she finally is distressed this had to happen. Life really throws some curve balls. We left anyway to take some time off the trip back down. It is four hours and on the way up E was car sick the entire time so we thought it would be easier and more comfortable to split it up. I was very pleased with how clean I was able to get the boat. E finally had her camera situation started (she still needed a post office) and our laundry was done. We added a few things to our suitcases that we needed for the next 4 weeks and took the rest back to the boat and off we went! The day was nice and we were having a nice drive down. We started getting hungry and decided to stop at “Hell’s Pizza” for dinner. We even ate it on the run. We called the regional park number to confirm that we could arrive late between 8-9pm and still get into the park to camp. We were full of our super spicy pizza and excited that this regional park is supposed to surpass all the other ones, which we thought had great facilities and were nice. Unfortunately, it was a disaster! When we arrived we used the phone that they usual have there and there was no answer. We then called the regional park again on our cell and they said the ranger should be there to let us in. After calling him back a third time, we found out we could not be let in. But, they were so gracious and let us stay outside the gate. They said there was a bathroom right past the gate and we could walk there. E and I walked forever with our flashlight with no bathroom in sight. Finally, we walked back and Jason found us a port o potty to use. We set the tent up under a tree, blew up the mattress, and all crashed hard. Saying tomorrow will be a beautiful day at the beach.
March 8, 2007 Thurs
Last night only got better. We had trouble sleeping because the cows were whining and crying. It was very frustrating to try and sleep during that. But, it was a beautiful morning and they finally stopped. We drove through the park to the beach where there is an information board. This park has many tramping trails. It would have been nice to spend a few days here just tramping (I love the kiwi word for hiking it is so fun to say!! After all how many girls do you know that can enjoy saying they went tramping all day!!). We walked to the beach and brought a big blanket and a chair and E and I just relaxed while Jason surfed. We did not last very long though E was peeling a little and I was kind of itching to get to the city. Someone told us to stop at this place where you can taste cheeses and taste beers. I guess we misunderstood. We stopped at What was basically a cafe that serves beers and had platters of cheeses for purchase. We purchased our own assortment of cheeses and had a bottle of wine. It was scenic and we fed the ducks too. They had craft tables set up but we refrained from purchasing anything. We arrived in town and went straight to a hotel to check in E. This way she can sleep in tomorrow and we'll stay at the regional park right by the airport. We have to be there at 6:30am. After we checked in we went to get a drink. After that drink, Jason picked up Michi while E and I stopped to have a martini (of course not make right) and a bottle of champaigh to go with our thai dinner at the Asian market. It was super fun. After we left there which was getting late we hung out at E's hotel for a while and then off to bed for us. We have an early call.
March 9, 2007 Thurs
We went to pick up my parents early there plane was a little late! It incredible to me that they came to visit me. I was so excited. After we picked them up we went downtown to the hotel to drop off their bags. The hotel is super nice. Jason went to get E at her hotel and I went to fill my perscription the doctor in the south island gave me. Unfortunately, they have a week policy which I was not informed of and therefore they would not fill it. I now had to go to a doctor in Auckland. It was a good hour before this was all done and I could pick up my prescription at 4pm. The doctor insisted on calling my doctor in Denver too. Finally we were done and we could go enjoy the day in Auckland for a few hours before I had to pick up my medicines. We went to the warf where there was a big boat show going on. There was an Irish Pub on the water and we stoppped for a pint and some lunch. It was good. Then we spent the day shopping here and there. Elisabeth caught her hotel shuttle and that was completely difficult to see her go. All these people coming and leaving. We went back to the hotel and just relaxed the rest of the day. We were all exhausted.
March 10, 2007 Fri
We drove down to see the glow worms today. It was a long drive but worth the trip. My parents loved them. We spent some time walking around Auckland when we got back and had Thai for dinner
March 11, 2007 Sat
We spent some time walking around Auckland today exploring with my parents. It was just so awesome to be with them. It was great for me no matter what we did. We went to the light show that was being performed in the main park of Auckland. They have the guys coming in from France doing this show. We tried to take a taxi there but we ended up having to walk a lot of the way. It was a really cool show.
March 12, 2007 Sun
p>We went to the internet cafe and then we got ready to leave for the cruise ship. Jason dropped us off and took the car over to where Michi has her boat and she drove him back. The cruise ship was huge. We spent most of the day just exploring the ship. The had all kinds of fun activities to do and so many pools, a spa, workout room, pizza place (realy NY pizza)
March 13, 2007 mon
p>Today we stopped in Turanga. My mom and dad went to Rotorua to see the Mauri show which we already saw with Brian. Jason and I had to get online to try to get our tickets figured out for flying to Doug's wedding. This was the most frustrating day because of trying to figure out these tickets. We are having way too many stops. We have spent 4 days at the internet cafes trying to figure this out and it is ruining our enjoyment of our little vacation from our boat. We decided after 2 hours of frustration at trying to do it ourselves we went to a travel agent. She is going to call us with the amount and mail us the tickets. After that was done we went to a salon and Jason had his hair all cut off. He got a version of the faux hawk but with more hair. It turned out really nice. It was funny I was walking around the cruise ship looking for him and when he finally called my name he was laughing at me because he was right in front of me (practically) and I did not recognize him!! After the haircut we walked to the surf beach. It was pretty cold out but it was a nice walk and the beach was pretty. We stopped at the liquor store on the way back and bought a bottle of vodka for the boat. They do not seem to care if you carry some on. We now have 2 bottles of vodka, a bottle of champaign, and a bottle of red wine. It was such a nice day. my parents were behind us walking back to the boat and they only realized it was us because of my Paul Frank monkey skull black bag! Jason's haircut threw them as well! We met for our usual happy hour before dinner t have some vodka cranberry drinks. It is so cool that we are right next door to eachother. Everyday we just call and see what the other wants to do and when we should meet up. Never do they call early knowing how I love my sleep. I also love laying in bed either in the wee hours of the morning or late morning surfing the channels!! They have a different movie on every day. It plays all day so you can catch the end if you miss it at a later time!
March 14 - 27, 2007
p>We had a very fun time on our cruise to Australia. We stopped in Rotorua, Christchurch, Dunedin, Tasmania, Melbourne, and ended in Sydney. Life on a cruise ship is definitely different than sailing. We enjoyed being pampered for a while. There were huge seas especially when we were sailing around New Zealand. They even had to cancel one of the shows because we were moving around so much it was not safe. It was a different movement though. It was more like being on an elevator when it kind of lifts for a second and you feel weightless. Not the continual rocking of a sailboat!! It was cold on the New Zealand portion of the trip so we only went out sometimes to watch the water. Some of the things we especially loved were flushing, long showers, room service, food cooked for you any time of the night, non stop entertainment, and a remote control that actually has different TV shows on different channels. We had nice sit down dinners ever night. We especially loved the lemon cello which they charged one fee and you received a free glass and you could drink as much of it as you like! It was great! It was fun to hang out with my parents just having fun. We would go to the show after dinner every night if it was good and usually we would try to go to the night club. Although, every time we went there were maybe 10 people if you were lucky usually more like 5. We did get to know some of the crew but you were not supposed to go hang out in their area. We rented a car in Christchurch and went touring on our own. We stopped at wineries, did a scenic drive and went to the albatross center as well as checking out the town. My parents finally tried the green lip mussels which are so fabulous here in New Zealand. Dunedin was nice as well. We saw the penguins and some seals. We took a tour on our own and still had time to drive around the area to check out other sights. We were definitely glad we rented our own car. It saved money and gave us so much freedom. In Tasmania we decided to do an eco tour. We went to a farm that makes wine and we saw them sheer the sheep while we were there. After a tour of the country side we also saw the way they use the dogs to move the sheep. We also went to a wild life park that took you to see koala beers among others as well as hiking up to see a waterfall. It was definitely worth doing the tour. We also did a hike and were able to see some animals in their natural setting. We loved Melbourne and would love to go back there some day. It was a beautiful city. We did the old jailhouse tour. That was super fun. We got lucky and did the night watchman's tour. We all were assigned sentences and were thrown in jail! I loved that there were lots of parks and sculptures all over the city. I really enjoyed those as well as the old architecture. We did a lot of walking around the city as well. In fact we there was a crispy Cream that we passed and we walked back so that Jason could buy a dozen and eat them through out the day. I do believe he ended up giving a few away to the crew on the ship in order to keep himself from getting sick. On our days at sea we spent them by the pool, visiting the work out room, the spa, watching movies, reading and so much more. They have non stop activities. We eve won a spa treatment that allowed us to exfoliate each other and also cover each other in mud before sitting in a steam shower. It was nice. As a result of the steam showers we got a skin infection, but I will not waste my time talking of that fun. The boat had so many different pools and hot tubs. We liked to hang out in the hot tubs. They even had a type of tennis you could play with a paddle. That was fun as well. We left the ship in Sydney and spent 3 days hanging out touring the city. One day we went over to Manley beach which was super nice. They also are famous for the Opera house which is fantastic. Jason and I saw a show that was in one of the studios on the premises. The show was very cool. We saw the doctor here since the ships doctor misdiagnosed Jason’s skin infection and now my skin infection. We loved Sydney too. Our hotel was really cool as well at the end of the day they had a happy hour with anything you can imagine to drink even Champaign and many appetizers. It was nice. We had such a wonderful trip with my parents. It was so hard when we all flew out. At least I know I will see them in June.
March 28- April 6, 2007
p>We arrived late last night back to our van which was in West Haven Marina parking lot. Michi our friend let us keep our van there while we were gone. We ended up spending the night in the van. Jason had a second knee by now so we were off to see the doctor again now here in Auckland. We went to the hospital first since we had no way of finding a doctor ourselves. They had the nurse look at it and told us to go to a specific doctor and even called them for us. It would have cost us almost $1000 for us both to see the doctor at the emergency room. So we got in our van to leave and it would not start!! Michi came over to try and help us and finally after driving all over to find us a part we were able to get it started. We were both is so much pain from our injuries and this hour and half did not help matters. We went straight to the doctor's office. They kept Jason on the same meds but put me on something different. They took a swab of the puss and said it was pretty serious and that we definitely got it in the steam showers on the cruise, it is highly contagious, the opposite of what the cruise doctor told us. I guess that is why I have a big one on my butt too! We spent the next week seeing the doctor every day. After changing our meds 3 times, we were finally on the right antibiotic. I guess we had caught MRSA which is a very contagious type of skin staff infection. We were advised to continue squeezing our puss until there is no more and changing the dressings every day. They wanted us to come back until it was completely gone every day to have them change them but we could not continue living out of the van in a parking lot or continue to pay for a doctor every day to just change our dressing. We decided to have the doctors give us everything we would need to change the dressings ourselves as well as have them show us how to do it on eachother. We of course had to pay for all of the equipment but it was still cheaper than continuing to go to the doctors ever day for the next month. We are so lucky that Michi was here to help us. She even wanted us to stay on her boat. She did not care if it was contagious. She is so sweet. She made us dinner every night and was always trying to have us to the boat to entertain us. She really is a sweet heart. We would have been in a bad situation if we could not stay in our van at her marina. I am really going to miss her when we leave. I hope she decides to come to Fiji on her boat or even if she flies and stays on our boat! When we arrived back to Opua we had to disinfect our van and all our clothing before bringing them to the boat. We also used the special soap they gave us that we now need to shower with every day.