Now that Luci is in a better condition than ever and the maintenance list is empty – an extremely rare condition – it’s time to go sailing again. It’s an opportunity we grab with both hands. We cannot sail west or north of New Zealand, as the borders of neighbouring countries are still closed and cyclone season has just begun. So we’ll explore New Zealand by sail instead. Only one thing still ties us to shore: our campervan Miss Nissy. Is it time to part ways with our trusted companion? Auckland, by far the largest market, is still in lockdown and there are still no tourists. We give it a try anyway and to our surprise, the local Kiwis quickly queue up to buy her. Within one day of placing an ad online we hand over the keys to her new owner and wave them both goodbye.
We feel privileged that despite the lockdown, a lot is still possible in our region. It’s a stark contrast with the Aucklanders, who are very limited in their movements. While we wait for good wind, our agenda completely fills up with farewells. Saskia and John treat us to a delicious dinner, Annelies and Joop take us on a beautiful hike, and Victor cooks a yummy meal for us at his home. Steve finds time to cook steak and prepare a salad in-between the chores on his boat Quick Decision. After Anna’s sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, we get to taste Arthur’s famous nasi goreng on “SY Vista”. With Monique and Ad from SY Moneypenny we go out for dinner in town and see the latest James Bond film. We can’t even remember the last time we were in a cinema! We thoroughly enjoy these good times with the lovely friends we made in Whangarei, so we feel a bit sad that we have to say goodbye.
As soon as the weather forecast promises favourable winds, we leave our berth and head back to sea to explore New Zealand’s coasts. Auckland is off-bounds, so we set course to the north, all the while keeping our fingers crossed that the strict lockdown won’t be extended to the rest of the country again…