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The Saga of Ursa Minor
Zephyr at the Cape
Bryan & Judy
01/05/2010, Cape Reinga, NZ

Zephyr, nephew of the famous Sirocco, is a flightless parrot whose relations live in the southernmost reaches of NZ. We took him north to show him the northernmost reaches of his native land - the Cape at Reinga. Zephyr agreed with us that the Cape, and its sister, Cape Marie van Diemen are truly awesome to behold.

New Years 2010
Bryan & Judy

2010 finds the crew of Ursa Minor encamped at Haruru Falls in Northland, NZ. Weather has been fantastic with sunny skies and cool temps at night, so sleeping in the tent has been quite comfortable. We've done a nice 12k 'tramp' along a river to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the Maori and the Europeans made peace. The Maoris are getting even by charging an admission of $20 NZD to walk the grounds, a fee which we declined. Besides, we hear that the cultural 'stuff' will be much better when we get to Rotorua. Last night we invited Ted and Karen from s/v Sequester - old friends from St. Croix and the Marshalls - over for curry. A good time was had catching up on familiar places and friends from oceans around the world. Tonight is fireworks at Pahia and pushing on in a day or so for Cape Reinga, NZ's northernmost cape. Zephyr has made a comfortable nest for himself in the top of the tent where he catches the occasional visiting mozzie.

Happy New Year to all ......

Bryan & Judy

Inspired by Sirocco, that kakapo ('night parrot') of YouTube fame, we have acquired one of his offspring as a pet. His name is Zephyr, yet a chick, and he has been traveling with us since Auckland. When in the camper van, he rides on the dash; on a 'tramp' he rides in my backpack. He is pictured here reading the signage at Mangawhai Heads.

Mangawhai Christmas
Bryan & Judy
12/24/2009, Mangawhai Heads Campsite, NZ

Kia Ora and Merry Christmas,

It's about 75 deg. Christmas morning and we're having a marvelous time here at Mangawhai Heads. Two good hikes along the beautiful ocean beaches and hills to start things off for Christmas Eve, followed by an excellent non-denominational Christmas music rock concert put on by a local church. Later today we've been invited by a Maori family to their holiday pig roast - the porker is already on their large towable cooker. Life is good and we hope it is for you as well.

Fay's Folly - KZ1
12/19/2009, Auckland, New Zealand

The photo is a picture of the longest yacht ever raced in the post-12 meter America's Cup series. Commissioned by Sir Michael Fay in a bid to wrest the cup from the USA, she was destined to lose to Dennis Connors' catamaran. As you can see she is now a very large Christmas ornament in front of the NZ Maritime Museum, a must-see venue in Auckland.

The USA's retention of the cup was short-lived, however. Inside the museum, suspended from her bulbed keel up to her first spreaders is "Black Magic" the Kiwi boat that won the cup from Connors in 2001. Outside the museum in the adjacent harbor two of her children from the last cup series - lost to the Swiss - are parked and ready as practice boats.

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Ursa Minor's Crew
Who: Captains Bryan Lane (callsign NP2NH) and Judy Knape
Port: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
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