Merry Christmas!

 

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Pohutakawa – Kiwi ‘Christmas Tree’

Wishing all our friends and family around the world a very Merry (Kiwi) Christmas and a happy, healthy, fabulous New Year!

It’s Saturday morning and we have finally finished the repairs we needed to do after the passage from Vanuatu: the sheave box is re-installed and we’re set to go sailing. It’s been hard yakka, Damian spending a lot of very uncomfortable time at the bottom of the anchor locker, and finally finishing late last night. Given our late finish, we’re going to be in the Bay of Islands for Christmas Day, hoping to be somewhere that looks something like this:

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(Look carefully and you can see Sel Citron in the bay – I took this photo a couple of summers ago).

We’re looking forward to doing a bit of this for the next little while:

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Plans, as ever, are loose, but we’re basically going to be cruising around the North Island: Great Barrier Island, Bay of Islands and places in between. Looking forward to catching up with some cruising friends and visitors are welcome!

Also hope to get back to Oz at some stage over the summer, so hope to see many of you soon.

Lots of Lemony Christmas hugs from us.
Kerry and Damian

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And the Sun Sets on Vanuatu…

vanuatu-2016-04993Just a quick note to let you know that we are setting sail at Dawn’s crack tomorrow morning, bound for NZ. We are SO not ready to go – it’s still miserable in NZ and it’s just gorgeous here – but Bruce the weatherman has found us a window. The plan at this stage is to sail to Aneityum at the southern extremity of Vanuatu (our point of arrival back in July) and wait there for the green light from Bruce. That may be as soon as Friday, or we may end up waiting for the next window… Either way, I’m not sure we’ll have internet in Aneityum, so I am sending this while I still can!

We have had a lovely time cruising in Vanuatu, and have covered a lot of ground, from Aneityum to Espiritu Santo and east to Ambae and Pentecost, as well as Erromango, Efate, Malekula, Maewo and Nguna.  We’ve climbed Mt Marum on Ambrym and looked down into a crater of molten lava; swum with turtles and dugongs; dived the President Coolidge wreck and taken the Millennium Cave tour.  On Ambrym, the island of black magic, we attending the three-day Back to the Roots festival and all over the country we’ve met so many friendly and hospitable Ni-van locals.

We’ve been to some truly gorgeous places, including Port Olry and Hog Harbour (Champagne Beach) on Santo, where the scenery is straight out of your tropical island travel brochure, and Ambae, where we had the beautiful bay, depicted in the attached photo, to ourselves and witnessed one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen – the beach in the pic is black volcanic sand, by the way!

Boat-wise, we’ve had – for once! – a relatively problem-free season… though we did have to replace our Mass Combi inverter/charger, flying a new one up from NZ at a cost of around 8 boat units, total…ouch.

The only down-side has been the endlessly frustrating internet – or lack thereof. It has been largely non-existent, or at best dial-up speed, for most of the season. In the end, we pretty much just gave up, so apologies for our lack of communications and blog updates. My mission on passage is to get some blog posts ready to upload when we get to NZ… stand by to stand by!

We’ll be updating our progress and you can follow us at http://www.yit.nz. If we take this window, we should be back in NZ by around Thursday next week – it’s around 1050 nautical miles to Opua from here.

Sending Lemon lurve,

Kerry and Damian

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