Friday, April 25, 2014

Moments from the last month

Jef and I snap a lot of photos with our iPhones - most of the time so we can send to each other. Many pics are of food we are consuming, or of something that tickles us at any given point. Here are some random moments snapped over the last month we've shared.

Daycare was temporarily held at the school during the short week while they had their building renovated. This is the local school where Kien will go to next year.



This was after cyclone Ita passed through Auckland.










Friday, April 11, 2014

A small bay offering big surprises

I thought I'd start this post at the very end, when we sailed into the harbour on Sunday evening as the sun was setting. As we passed Wynyard Quarter on our port side the sun had dipped below the horizon and we sailed in the darkness. It was beautiful, peaceful and exhilarating.

It was a good way to finish the day after a long slog back tacking a bijillion times windward all the way home.


We set out (relatively) early on Saturday knowing there was going to be good south to southwesterly winds. What we (I) didn't know was that it was going to be the most perfect sailing condition (I've ever experienced) for getting us where we needed to go. As soon as we came out of the marina we popped out the genoa and pointed the boat up the harbour. With a beam reach we sailed on starboard tack all the way to Motuihe. We did one gybe and headed toward the channel between Motutapu and Rakino, and made it to our destination in a record time of 2 hours 48 minutes. We slowly eased into Mullet Bay at Motutapu, and within 10 minutes of anchoring the kayak was in the water and the boys were heading off to explore while I went for a swim.

When they came back I hopped back into the water with Kien.

Kien asked me if I could touch the bottom. I told him the bottom was a fair distance below us, and 6 meters of depth means nothing to a 4 year old. In the end, "we are quite far from the shore" sufficed.

We had a nice warm bath waiting for us when we got out.

We had an early dinner, watched the sunset and went to bed, as is always the case when we are out on the boat. When the sun is gone it is so dark, and we just feel ready to go and sleep.

The following day we were up at the crack of dawn - which reminds me I must get a hatch cover if I want to have a sleep in and not be woken up by a child who is raring to go at the first incling of morning. I do love this time of day when we are out on the boat though. It is so peaceful and still, and the fresh smell of the day is something very unique and special in itself.

When the sun was fully up and I'd had enough coffee to kill a small donkey we kayaked to shore with our packed snacks/lunch for a picnic, and trekked off up the hill to explore the sights.

Motutapu - I love this island. I came here during a school trip once (twice, three times?) and never really appreciated it's beauty, or it's proximity to other islands in the Hauraki Gulf. But really, wow, this place has spectacular views.

Motuihe in the foreground, Waiheke in the background.

Across the channel is Rakino, and The Noises in the background.

Waiheke in the foreground, and Coromandel in the background (Great Barrier in the distance).

Great Barrier in the distance.

We found ourselves a shady spot under the canopy of small trees and had our lunch.

From here we could see our sailboat in the pretty bay, recognisable by the horseshoe red lifebuoy sitting in its housing at the stern of Cariere.

After lunch we headed back down to the beach where our kayaks sat baking in the sun. At the other end of the beach there is a gun emplacement which was worth checking out.

Kien and Jef crawled through the "window" - there was no other way in or out.

We cooled off in the clear water before heading back to the boat.

When we got back to the boat Jef pulled up the fishing lure, which we had put overboard just for fun in the morning. Even though nothing was on the hook some fish had followed it up to the surface. So I quickly finished my swim, baited a line and dropped it overboard. No sooner had the sinker hit the bottom a fish was on my hook, and I pulled up an undersized snapper. We let that go and I baited up again, and before my sinker even got to the bottom there was tugging on my line, and again I pulled up another small snapper. After the third time this happened we decided to call it quits and threw all our bait overboard. Feed them now, let them grow and we'll catch them when they are bigger.

It took us almost 5 hours to get home, and Kien slept for most of it.

The city lights guided us in.


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