Photo: L to R: Herbert, Adam, Samy, and Asma from SV Maya join us for a Thanksgiving feast
We hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season with the prospect of some peaceful moments amidst, or after, all of the rush to prepare: meals, gifts, for visitors, to visit, or whatever else you have planned in the last week of the year.
Our holiday season started in Marsden Cove where we celebrated a late Thanksgiving with a full roast turkey feast. This is Randall's favorite holiday and we were thrilled to enjoy it with the crew from SV Maya, a Swiss family. Parents Herbert and Asma spent the early part of the day learning about the history of the American Thanksgiving tradition and sharing that story with their sons Adam (7) and Samy (5). Randall's excellent feast was fully appreciated by all, as were the beautiful and delicious desserts provided by our guests.
There are no turkeys left in the stores for Christmas but that is not worrying us because we have been invited to join Helen and Tony and their family in Auckland. Although they will certainly miss the presence of Frank who had joined them for many years, we are really looking forward to meeting our extended Kiwi family. Randall and I are treating ourselves to a couple of nights in a nice, downtown hotel, in part because we do not have to pay to rent a car thanks to Vandy and Eric on SV Scoots very kindly loaning us their car while they are visiting the USA. We will also take advantage of this opportunity to take a road-trip in the New Year, when we will tour around parts of the North Island that we have not visited before such as Napier and the Taranaki Peninsula.
Randall views some of the decorated Christmas trees at display in a local church
We moved Tregoning from Marsden Cove to Whangarei in early December and we have thoroughly enjoyed being reunited with the crews of so many boats such as, Devocean, Scoots, Local Talent, Free Spirit, Serengeti, Mintaka, Astarté, Silhouette, Sagamo, and many more. We are also glad to see the marina crew again and there has been a calendar-filling selection of social activities. Of course, many of these have had a holiday-theme, such as the Christmas cookie exchange, a display of Christmas trees decorated by different groups at a local church, and the Town Basin Marina's Best Decorated Boat contest. As last year, the competition was fierce with the judges (last year's winners) having a tough-time deciding the placement of finalists. In a bit of tradition that we may have started, bribery in the form of rum drinks and cookies was not without influence...
One of the prize-winning decorated boats in the Town Basin Marina, SV Pickles
We were indirectly involved with the winning entry as we were part of the musical ensemble that played Christmas carols (Santa Baby and We Wish You a Merry Christmas) while the judges were visiting. This music was the result of what, for Randall, has been one of the most exciting aspects of our stay in Whangarei this year. We are on a dock with Scoots, Serengeti, and Free Spirit, the crews of which are all keen to play instruments such as ukuleles, bass guitar, and percussion. With Herbert joining on guitar occasionally, Randall has thoroughly enjoyed playing his guitar most days and I have even been coaxed into singing a few songs (including a slightly sassy version of Santa Baby for the decorated-boat contest). I did not really see this role as occasional lead-singer coming (I don't think that my voice is particularly good). However, as those who have seen me ham-it-up as a public-speaker over the years in my professional life might have guessed, once I'm behind the microphone with an audience, I find myself living a bit of that rock-star fantasy...if only I could remember all of the words!
We can certainly remember these: We wish you Happy Holidays and a Peaceful and Joyous New Year!
A rainbow over the Town Basin Marina looking upriver from Tregoning