Off to Whangaroa

Today we sailed from the Bay of Islands, along the coast to Whangaroa, a natural harbour. Along the way we enjoyed amazing islands and azure seas – magic! And it was good to finally sail on the Pacific Ocean:-) Dolphins played in the bow wave, shearwaters, terns, gannets, Pacific gulls and mollymawks hunted fish in the sea around us.

Rob was very at home in Whangaroa. It’s a very beautiful place with many anchorages to choose from and very protected from the Pacific:-) We chose Pekapeka Bay for our first night here – see the background to Rob in the photo, and the yachts around us.

Lunch with Webb

Today we picked up Webb from the marina at Opua, Bay of Islands and went to Waitangi for lunch. Webb, who has sailed around the world again in his beloved yacht “Hawke of Tuonella” since we last saw him, hasn’t changed. He’s still the same gentle, thoughtful man. No surprise that he and Rob are such good friends – they are kindred spirits!

After lunch I snapped this photo of these two men of whom I am particularly fond:-)

Good morning New Zealand

As I lay snuggled in bed, not yet wanting to get up, the soft, cool air that is New Zealand touched my skin. It was good to be back.

We’d left Perth last Sunday, after putting Mum in hospital. She was tired and scared, and for once glad to be there! Tristan and the kiddliwinks took us to the airport, and as always it was good to share the occasion with their young enthusiasm:-)

We flew to Sydney and spent the night there, so we could catch up with my cousin Lindesay and exchange our uncle’s and his name-sake’s diaries which Blaine had scanned for Uncle Lindesay’s war-time log-book – he was a bomber pilot in WWII, and was killed in June 1944. We will scan that too.

Had dinner with Rob’s brother Dick and wife Sue. It was good to exchange stories of what had been happening in our and our children’s lives, and for Rob and Dick to remember stories of their parents. But we had no sleep. Sydney is so alien to our usual nature-connected environment that we could not settle.

So yesterday’s travels from Sydney to Auckland, then Auckland to KeriKeri, were fraught.

However, the last flight in a very small plane was a gift: it was an hour before sunset and we flew between layers of clouds and revelled in the golden sun kissing the clouds above and below us, and the surface of the Tasman Sea to the west:-) See the photo!

And we slept like babes with the soft, cool New Zealand air caressing our faces:-)

Yes, it’s good to be back.

Not from here!

Last Saturday, walking with Rob in Kings Park, we heard and then spied a big flock of rainbow bee-eaters! Flying above some of the adults were their smaller off-spring, learning to fly the long flights they will now make.

Last Monday, as we walked into the main settlement on Rottnest Island, we heard then saw some more, flying and flying!

And this morning, while I was enjoying watching a pair of rainbow bee-eaters leave their nest and fly up to the sky, Rob was over-awed by a HUGE flock of them wheeling overhead.

How wonderful to farewell these little birds so many times:-)

The Mum and Dad are back!

This morning, as Rob and I walked towards the huge pine tree where the ospreys raised a chick last year, we saw that one of the parents was back. As we watched, entranced, the other flew in from over the river and landed on the remains of last year’s nest. They are back to rebuild their nest and raise another chick!

We won’t have any more rainbow-bee-eaters to enjoy until next spring, but we will really enjoy watching these 2 make babies again over the winter πŸ™‚