Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Letter of 2015

Tamboerskloof, Cape Town

Christmas 2014 was celebrated in grand style aboard Beez Neez with Pepe and Bear, our hosts, and Chris and Steve of Scott Free in Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

After New Year which we celebrated aboard Sheer Tenacity, and a final paint touch up in the boatyard, we headed out into the Bay of Islands for a bit of R  & R.

Sheer, looking good in Upunga Bay

Fresh snapper for supper 
Towards the end of February, we headed south in Mrs Paki,packed with our new camping gear. We stopped in Hamilton to watch ICC World Cup match between Zimbabwe and the Proteas.

We travelled down to Wellington passing through New Plymouth.

An unusual bridge on the foot path framing Mount Taranaki

In Wellington we boarded the Interislander Ferry to cross the Cook Straits to the South Island.

From Picton, we drove along the north coast, past the Queen Charlotte Sound, to begin our counter clockwise trip around the south island.

Split Apple Rock in the Abel Tasman National Park.
 We drove over some spectacular mountain passes on our way to Greymouth.

We stopped at the strange "Pannekoek" rocks which looked just like stack of pancakes.
Mount Cook reflected in Lake Matheson

The Maori symbol "Koru" is inspired by the tree fern shoots.

The Fox Glacier which comes right down to 250m above sea level!

The glacier terminal
 We then went inland a bit up the Haast River valley,  arriving between Lakes Hawea and Wanaka

 Then it was on to Te Anau and Milford Sound

From there we went down to the Bluff near Invercargill which was the southernmost point of our journey.

"The World's Fastest Indian" displayed in a hardware shop in Invercargill
Through the beautiful Catlins.........

And through farmlands .......

 Past the Moeraki Boulders to the lovely city of Oamaru

Majestic Mount of the highlights of our trip.
The Christchurch cathedral damaged by a devastating earthquake

Omaka Aviation Museum in Blenheim

We arrived back in Opua after 6 weeks of camping touring and thoroughly enjoying all the south island had to offer.
We then started preparing Sheer Tenacity for the 1000nm trip to Fiji.

 We left NZ on 26 May in a brisk breeze 


We ran out of wind so we detoured to Minerva Reef, an atoll belonging to Tonga, 700nm from NZ


We had to cross the dateline to get to Minerva so Rod had 2 bithdays in one year! Chris baked him a delicious cake.
A great wahoo caught on route to Savusavu, Fiji, 
 In Savusavu, rafted up against Scott Free, waiting for Customs to check us in

 Spanish Mackerel
Fruit and veg shopping in Blue Lagoon 

Musket Cove on Malolo lailai

A dancer at the Meke (feast) we attended at Blue Lagoon
 Then it was time to head for Vanuatu......first stop, Aneityum and Mystery Island

Coral exposed at a King low tide

From Aneityum we sailed north to Port Resolution, Tanna Island to visit Mt Yasur, an active volcano

 After the very exciting visit to the volcano, we set off to New Caledonia, a French island 260nm from Tanna

Port Moselle, Noumea
Farewell drinks with Scott Free, heading for Newcastle while we were bound for Bundaberg

A mahimahi for the freezer

A couple of weeks after arriving in Bundy and some major repairs completed, we hauled out and Sheer Tenacity was settled into dry storage for her 4 month stay

 Sorry if we've bored you, but its been a very big year. We've condensed 36 blogs into this quickie for those who don't wade their way through them!

We wish you all a happy, healthy and safe 2016!

1 comment:

  1. What a glorious year! The South Island looks magnificent. You have so many thousands of miles under your keel since we last saw you in . . . Brazil? It makes our hearts soar to think of you cruising on. We are landlubbers now -- students and teachers, but living every day with our many memories of the sea. Love to you both, ESTRELA (Doug, Kyle, Eliza, and Abigail Hopkins, Buffalo, NY, USA)