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A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
Auckland , a volcanic hub!
12/28/2008, Auckland, NZ

What an amazing city, Auckland the city of sails surrounded by 48 volcano.... We are just across the city's heart in a marina called Bayswater, it is calm, clean and with a spectacular view. Auckland downtown is not far either by Ferry or by car... We visited today the Auckland Museum, it was very impressive (a really interesting and moving presentation of the New Zealand war veterans), beautiful (incredible Maori and Pacific arts and artifacts) and fun (interactive volcano's eruption simulation). The "high"light of Auckland is the sky city tower, it is higher than the Eiffel tower by 3 meters (do you believe that!) and the view from up there is spectacular of course, NZ being the country of extreme, they offer body jumping from the top of the tower or you can simply walk on a 1m wide walkway without rail surrounding the outside of the tower just secured by a belt cable, we passed on both and just look through the window, that was scary enough! Downtown is very busy on Friday night near the water, plenty of pubs and gourmet restaurants and a lot of people (I thought NZ was not so populated, 3M, most of them must hang around Auckland!!!!).
Beside the tourist highlights, we are quietly living at the dock, sometimes too quietly for some (David already wants to move more!), but I like it like that. We had a nice Christmas feast on O'Vive with Malachi and Orca III, and are planning to tour around Roturoa after New Year's eve.
Auckland , la cite des voiles entouree de 48 volcans... Nous sommes juste oppose du Coeur de la cite, dans une marina appelee Bayswater, calme, propre et avec une vue spectaculaire. Auckland downtown n'est pas loin en ferry ou en voiture... Nous avons visiste aujourd'hui le muse de Auckland, tres impressionant ( une presentation interessante et emouvante des veterans de guerre de NZ, magnifique (l'art et la civilization maori) et amusante (simulation d'une eruption volcanique, reconstitution de squelette de dinosaurs, etc...). Et puis bien sur la tour de sky city, plus haute que la tour Eiffel de 3 m (incroyable, n'est-ce pas?) , la vue est est spectaculaire . NZ etant le pays des sports extremes, ils offrent de sauter en body jumping de la tour (tres peu pour moi) ou de marcher sur une petite passerelle de 1 m de large sans barrierres, juste attache par un cable a la ceinture, nous avons prefere regarder derriere la vitre, cela suffisait amplement! Pres du port, la ville devient tres animee surtout les Vendredi et Samedi soirs ou les pubs et restaurants sont nombreux! Nous avons passes un Noel tranquille avec nos amis d'Orca III et Malachi et puis après le premier de l'an, nous partirons pour une excursion sur Roturoa.

12/30/2008 | Nancy
Happy New Year to you All! Remember Last year this time....Crazy Busy getting ready to go!! We have enjoyed your adventures & look forward to seeing you! Love, N & J
01/01/2009 | séverine
HAPPY NEW YEAR... Full of good things... health, happiness... ;-))
Bye bye
12/08/2008, Auckland, New Zealand

We are at the Viaduct Harbor marina in downtown. No internet but a great location in the middle of everything. The Louis Vuitton Cup will be staged from the Viaduct next month. As I type this I am watching a travel lift maneuver two BMW Oracle Racing boats around just 500' off our starboard side. We will move to Bayswater marina on the other side of the harbor on the 15th, the same day Nathalie returns from France. It is bittersweet arriving in Auckland as it marks the end of our sea voyage. We will ship Ovive back to Florida next month on Dockwise. However it is the start of our land adventure and we are excited about the next several months exploring New Zealand by land.

12/21/2008 | PS
Wishing you a Bon Noel & continued grand adventures! xo
12/22/2008 | Jorge & Bonnie Aladro
Just wanted to tell you how happy we are that you completed your dream trip. We have been watching your travels and have enjoyed following you thru your blog. Wanted to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year. We Love you and your family and miss all of you. After spending so much time together we truly miss you all. Give the kids and Nathalie a big kiss and hug. Love you Bonnie & Jorge
12/23/2008 | PAOLA
Merry Christmas in New Zealand. We'll see Vincent and Yvana during those holidays and I am sure we'll talk about you and your amazing trip. We'll sure be glad to see you back in the keys next year. Love, Paola
12/25/2008 | Genevieve
Joyeux Noel a toi et a ta petite famille qui t'entoure.

Que la nouvelle annee t'apporte tout ce que tu esperes.

Egoistement, je suis ravie que tu reviennes de ce long voyage fascinant de decouvertes et attend avec impatience de t'entendre.

Je t'embrasse,
12/25/2008 | séverine
Merry Christmas :-)))
Bye Bye
Great Barrier Island
12/03/2008, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

We traveled to Great Barrier Island and anchored in Port Fitzroy harbor. On the way (about 50 miles) we ran though a huge pod of whales. One was right between our bows and we had to put the motor in neutral so as not to overtake him. They were fairly small thankfully, about twice the size of a bottle nosed porpoise. Great Barrier is a very quiet place. One of the highlights was the hike (tramp in Kiwi) to the top of Mt Hobson (Hirakimata). 621 meters high with 1000 steps, 814 continuous steps at the end to reach the summit. The Kiwis have incredible hiking trails; the effort put into building some of the trails is impressive. Alec and I went over the side to clean the waterline before leaving as this might be the last clear water we see for a while.

12/02/2008, Tutukaka

We arrived in Tutukaka the day before yesterday. Today we went diving at Poor Knights islands one of the top dive sites in the world located 12 miles off the coast. The water temperature was 17 degrees Celsius. This was the first cold water dive we have ever done. We were wearing 7mm dive suits complete with hats, shoes and gloves. We saw lots of neat stuff. Pictures will follow. Alec got to drive the dive boat back to the coast. Tomorrow we will depart Tutukaka for Great Barrier Island which is about 52 miles.

12/08/2008 | severine
Hello....j'espère que tout va bien pour vous?Je continue à suivre assez régulièrement votre voyage :-) Ah! quelle aventure....
Hey Nathalie!!!tu étais de passage par ici à Lyon... j'aurai bien aimé te revoir, c'est dommage peut être une occasion se retrouvera ;-)
Quoi qu'il en soit bonne continuation. Prenez soin de vous
Des biz
Out of the marina cruising again
11/29/2008, Mimiwhangata Bay, New Zealand

After 20 days in Opua marina we left this morning heading south towards Auckland. We anchored this afternoon in Mimiwhangata Bay along side Malachi who had left 2 days before us. Then we went for a great walk though pasture land. We are in the middle of nowhere. On the way back to the boat we noticed a glider on another beach and went over to investigate. It turns out the updraft's had not cooperated and he had to put it down 10 kilometers from his landing strip and had been waiting 3 hours for the crew to make it to him. They had a 4 wheel drive towing a trailer and made it out on to the beach with great effort to begin dismantling it before the tide came in. It's good to be away from the dock again but needed to be there for a while to get set up. We bought a car, cell phone etc.. and got Nathalie on a plane to France. She had a 1 hour flight to Auckland, then a 4 hour to Melbourne, then a 14 hour to Dubai, then a 7.5 hour to Paris. Add the lay over times and you have a tired girl. She will re-join us December 15th in Auckland. We miss her a lot but know we have to share her with her family. Lot's of her's in that sentence.

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Who: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
Port: Tavernier, Florida USA
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