Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A long weekend of sailing

This is what summer is all about - long weekends where we get to go and truly feel like we are on an adventure just a stone throw away from home, and yet so far away. It also feels like we were away for a billion years even though it was only 2 nights. Maybe part of the reason for that is because the weekend wasn't exactly smooth sailing, so to speak. The weather wasn't that great. It was OK at times, but definitely windy, damp and cold. No matter, we made the most of it and it was well worth the effort.

We left the marina just after lunch on Saturday and headed out to Rakino Island. We were heading straight into the wind with rough seas, and with having to manage Kien's sea sickness and me feeling queazy as well, Jef pretty much had to sail us there solo. He loved it!

We anchored up in Fowlhouse Bay on Saturday night, and we were rocking and rolling all through the night with the swell and the wind. I think that was the bumpiest night I've ever had on a boat. I didn't sleep so well, but Kien slept like a log, and he woke up early and was bubbling full of energy. So I took him for a paddle.

We headed out to the Three Sisters, and paddled around looking at the oysters and the oyster catchers with their bright beaks scurrying around in the rain. Kien begged me to go ashore, so I found a patch that was safe enough to bring the kayak in. We looked for crabs, and chased some oyster catchers. Kien wanted to go to other beaches, but by then the rain was falling hard and the wind was howling through the bay so I decided to head back to the boat.

We hung around and had some lunch while still debating whether to stay put or try finding somewhere else more sheltered. The wind was going to swing around in the opposite direction, and then there was the swell that was going to be in the opposite direction of the wind - so lots to consider.

Jef decided to up anchor and sail over to Motutapu Island. It took us no time at all to get to Station Bay. There were only a few boats tucked into the bay on one side, and no one on the other side so that's where we anchored. After settling in it was Jef's turn to go for a paddle in the rain.

The rain cleared, and as it got closer to dusk the bay filled up. It was good to have been the first to get into our comfortable little spot where we were quite sheltered.

We had a surprisingly calm(er) night without too much rocking. I had a decent sleep despite being woken up by Kien a number of times during the night. The following morning all the other boats started clearing out early. We made the most of the sunshine by going ashore. We had a great time with the place to ourselves.

Kien loves exploring the rocks and looking for sea creatures.

We clambered over to the next bay along to see what else we could find.

I love finding rock pools that are undisturbed with interesting creatures lurking inside.

They also make great little paddling pools - so warm.

Whenever we find a pool we just have got get in and explore.

It was so magical being here by ourselves. It really does feel like we are on a deserted island on a journey of discovery.

We hung around for a bit longer and left it quite late before heading back to the city. The wind was howling and gusting 30-35 knots, and the sea was rough. It was a slow slog getting back, but we finally made it just before dark.

Last night we went to the boat for dinner while Jef did a bit of maintenance. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living here in the City of Sails, with all that it has to offer pretty much at our doorstep.

I also must not forget we are very lucky to have all that we've got to have these experiences. Sometimes it is very easy to lose sight of the reasons we do what we do. Anyway, I'll save those thoughts for another post when I'm feeling particularly introspective :-)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Coffee group kids dinner

I found these photos on my camera the other day, and I thought all the kids looked so adorable I just had to post them. At the end of last year life was just so crazy and hectic I didn't manage to do a lot of blog posts, and now that I've been doing a bit of photo maintenance it's quite nice to find photos such as these. It was of our last kids dinner for the year with my coffee group.

Loose stones and children - what can I say - the kids were fully entertained (and mischievious) for quite a while.

We tore them away from their games for some dinner.

The smallest child was the last to leave. She ate everything on her plate, and then some more.

After dinner fruit was served on the patio.

The other kids wanted to partake in fruit eating too, so we moved them to the small table.

Kien ended up being alone with all the ladies. Looks like they were a captive audience.

Oh look, other boys busting in on the party.

After fruit it was driving time - driving and crashing and dangling. I look at these photos and wonder what is in store for the future...

It's hard to imagine that they were once this small!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Music festivals and pool parties - this is summer

It has been quite a number of years since we've been to any major music festival type event thing, and when there was the announcement last year that Pearl Jam were headlining for the Big Day Out - well I just had to spend the money and get tickets for us to go. It's so weird, I only became interested in Pearl Jam because Jef and I started listening to Eddie Vedder the year before, so I'm not even a die hard fan of the 90's. It's always been like that with me and music - I "discover" a band/song/artist/sound that is new to my ears, and find out it/they have been around like, forever (not literally, obviously, but I was getting tired of forward slashes in my sentence, and I couldn't think of any other adverbs).

Yes, BDO 2014. Except for the queues and the lack of cellular service it was awesome. I had a great time. I had my schedule all marked out, but once we were there I realised it was too difficult to be going back and forth between stages every hour, so we chilled out and took it easy.

Jef and I lost each other for a little bit when he wandered off to see The Hives and Beady Eye. But we found each other again for Pearl Jam.

I got to see The Naked and Famous, Arcade Fire, and of course these guys:

Or first spot wasn't close enough, so we made our way around to the side. Great view of the stage.

Afterwards I wanted to go and meet up with our friends again to see another band and bounce, but Jef was beat and wanted to get home to relieve Rod and Grandma Gun of their babysitting duties. It was a slow walk home, but so good that they had closed the part of Great North Road leading all the way into Grey Lynn from the stadium.

I love live gigs so much. I've been trying to convince Jef to go to Splore this year. It's a 3 day music festival that is family friendly, and it includes camping!


This morning I dropped Jef off at a crate party. It was intended to be a whole heap of guys from work getting together for a pow wow with crates of beer. I told him to stay safe and keep in contact so I can come and get him if he needed it. I then took Kien to the playground and my dad's for a late lunch (this was after Kien and I baked cupcakes). While at my dad's I got a call from Jef telling us to come over and bring our swimming gear - it was family friendly! So that was what we did.

We had a lovely swim in amidst watching people jumping off fences into the pool. Kien enjoyed seeing that, especially his daddy doing backflips off the fence! We also had a relaxing spa session.

Kien enjoyed watching the older kids playing games.

They sparked up the BBQ for dinner.

It was a brilliant way to spend a beautiful sunny afternoon the day after the BDO. This is definitely what summer is all about!


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