Finally... hello!

  It almost feels too late to start this blog, but I know that is silly. Better now than never and all that. So, here we are! Two years in, with a full 9 month, hauled-out boat refit behind us as well as roughly 3000 (eventful) coastal nautical miles sailed and anchored, hundreds of learning curves, sunsets and swearwords, and a myriad of wonderful people met along the way. It seems a lot to have missed but there is so much more coming and it is time to begin documenting it all. 

So I'll start where we are and try to reference some past moments as they become relevant. That seems manageable.

Where we are is Whangarei Marina at the top of the North Island of New Zealand, above Auckland. We generally try not to use marinas, preferring to anchor, both as a lifestyle choice and for our budget. But being of no fixed abode is only a freeing and tetherless state until we want to order something online and at the moment we are stocking up on Things before we head to Tonga next week! 

Recent Things include our shiney new lithium batteries, which will mean full batteries day and night and the ability to even cook using infinite sun power instead of our finite gas. The off-gridness of this life is, for me, one of the most attractive and pleasing aspects. Minimising our footprint and our reliance on shore based resources is an interesting learning curve and constant project. I am trying to persuade Elliot that we need two chickens.

We've also picked up our scuba gear. Pretty exciting. The diving in Tonga is supposed to be amazing. Reefs and bombies and coral and fish and probably some rule breaching sharkies. There are whales in Tonga too, lots of them, and it's breeding season, so there are baby whales frolicking about as well. I foresee much squealing.

For now though we are on a dock slap in the middle of Whangarei almost on display outside a new tourist attraction, the Hundertwasser Arts Centre. It's fun and social. Lots of passersby stopping to chat and tell us how beautiful Fortaleza is while we try not to seem too proud and chest puffy. My favourite was a 6 year old boy who was coming along the jetty giving his assessment of each of our marina neighbour's multi-million dollar boats, and when he got to us he pointed and shouted "This one mum, this one is the best!" (He's not wrong, she actually is, he has impeccable taste.)

While we are here we are watching the weather for a good moment to leave. Annoyingly, two days ago was probably it, but we had some small holdups and couldn't go. Lots of boats have though and we watch their progress on Marine Traffic, overlaying the weather from Windy to guess at their conditions. So far it looks like a really good trip. Fingers crossed ours will be too.

If you've read our website, or know me, you'll know that I am not a sailor. I wonder sometimes at what point I might consider myself one. I've clocked up 3000nm and still feel like a newbie so this looming ocean passage, my first, feels quite exciting (daunting, exhilerating, hilarious, uncertain, brilliant). I'm not afraid but I have put an order in for fair seas. Elliot has done masses of off-shore stuff of course, but never captaining his own boat, so this trip has its own new flavour for him too.

Right now though, there is shopping to be done. 


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