Another Miracle!

Yesterday I heard the last remaining butcher bird, from the family that we have had in our garden for the last I don’t know how many years, calling from the tree outside our study. Then he arrived at the bird bath again:-) Yay!

And this morning, as I lay in bed thinking about getting up, a big flock of black cockatoos flew past, calling to each other. Many of these endangered birds have been killed in the storm, and I have seen and heard a few flying overhead and calling since we got back, some all by themselves. I realise now that after a catastrophe that this is how they find each other again. They have no phones or internet! So our local flock is reforming once more by connecting through their calls.

Another miracle!

And when I did get up, and turned my calendar to April, the saying for this month was “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein. I’ve chosen the miracles and LOVE IT!

Oh No!

Yes this looks like an ordinary, broken peg.

BUT it’s almost 40 years old! We bought a packet of these pegs when we set up our home-to-be before our wedding in January 1971.

And as we hung our washing on the line today, after doing all the washing from our NZ sailing trip, our peg basket contained many such pegs, smashed up during the storm of March 22nd. This was the saddest though – it almost made it’s 40th birthday, but not quite:-(

Something else from our past that’s finished…

It’s a Miracle!!!

Got back to Perth last Saturday night, preparing ourselves to see the disaster area that was our house after the storm of March 2010 on the 22nd had hit it hard. By some miracle Jeanette’s power went out during the storm so she gathered up her fridge food and brought it over to our place to use our fridge. And what a good thing she did because rain was pouring in through various holes in the roof including the shattered roof window (see photos),  and the kitchen light was shorting and looking like burning the house down!

She turned the light off and with Christopher started the big clean-up, and Tris arrived to help after shoring up his ceiling which was threatening to fall in. And on Saturday Blaine made a good go at cleaning up the broken glass in the playroom. They all had a busy week, which was very kind of them ‘cos they had their own problems to deal with!

So now we’ve seen it, started on the sorting out and repairing which will take ages. I remembered my cousin who runs a building company and he’s coming tomorrow which will be a blessing.

But this morning when I was continuing to clean up the leaves etc that fell when the trees were shredded with hail stones, I realised what had been missing – bird calls! Our garden is normally alive with birds, and they come back year after year to make babies in our trees. But there was nothing, no calls at all. That’s when it hit me – the tragedy of the storm is that so many birds were killed by the torrential rain and massive hail stones. I’d found one of them the morning after we got back, a decapitated wattle bird which Tom and Thea helped me to bury (see grave in the photo, amongst the hundreds of green pine leaves which were shredded from our pine tree). So this afternoon, alone in the house, I let myself cry because I’ll really really miss them all.

Then the miracle happened, well 2. First of all a “28” parrot called from the tree outside our study. And then a butcher bird came to have a drink from the bird bath. No sound apart from its wings, but it looked very well.

It’s a miracle it survived, and I was very happy to see it again:-)

Out to Sea

It was our last full day on the boat so we made it a full one!

Sailed right along to coast to cape Brett and the Motukokaka Island (with the hole through it). Wonderful coast-line, back in the Pacific Ocean:-) And we spied a big pod of dolphins feeding, leaping and splashing.

Then sailed all the way back into the islands to have lunch in Motukeikie Bay, then more exploring around the islands before going back to enjoy a quiet starry night in last night’s anchorage.

It will be hard to leave this place tomorrow, but it will be good to get back to our own yacht, Dusky Dolphin.

Robertson Island (again!)

Our sailing friends, Kim and Annette, arrived in Opua yesterday. We took them to Roberton Island today, where Captain Cook landed and checked out what was here. So Rob loves this place! They loved it too, and Rob took a very good panorama which will soon be hanging on one of the walls in our house.

Then sailed to Waipero Bay for the night. Morporks were calling all night under the half moon!


This morning, when I turned on my mobile, there was a message from Jeanette:

“Morning! There is some repairable storm damage (broken skylights) at your house. Who are you insured with?”

A frantic phone call to Jeanette in Perth and we found out that the freak hailstorm in Perth had breached the roof of our house in several places and LOTS of water had come in. Jeanette, Christopher and Tristan gathered to clean it up, for which we we very, very grateful!!!

Blowing up

Went ashore to find the tree from last night – it must have been very old ‘cos it had a massive trunk! And Rob took a beautiful panorama of the view from the top of the ridge.

Went to Hahangarua Bay for lunch, then I washed my hair. This was a major error – the gas-heated hot water system blew up! So Rob turned off the gas and we raced back to Opua. Got there in strong winds but Rob docked the boat really well. “Kiwi” Kim who ran the boat hire came aboard with help, and we had the hot water on again by 7:30. After that we had a quiet night, after nice hot showers ashore.

Back to Bay of Islands

Up early to catch the sunrise, then packed up the boat and set off, back along the coast to Bay of Islands. After Cavalli Passage we had a magic sail right down to Ninepin Island (see pic). Lots of penguins, cape pigeons and shearwaters along the way:-)

Anchored for the night in Urupukapuka Bay to test it out for when Kim and Annette arrive on Tuesday. Beautiful old tree sillouted against the evening light on the headland (see pic).

Happy Here

I caught this snap of Rob this morning – very happy in this glorious place.

After brekkie we dinghied up the creek at high tide (it is empty at low tide!). Lots of mangroves along the banks of the windy water-way. We drifted back on the tidal out-flow, listening and watching. Magic!

Explored around Rere Bay – lots of batches (NZ holiday houses) and fishing traps. What a beautiful place this is.

Top Views

Today we motored right around the harbour, visiting all the bays. We settled in Rere Bay for the night, then dinghied ashore and Rob climbed the Duke’s nose, a steep little peak above our anchorage. It was a very steep climb at the top, and he had to use a chain that was attached. He was happy that he could still climb:-)

We saw yet another penguin in the water as we made our way around the bays too!

And during the night there was more magic – calls of kiwi, penguins and morporks (mopokes) all night!