The Adventure Continues

20 October 2013 | Fulanga, Southern Lau Group, Fiji
20 October 2013 | Village of Maunaithaki, Fulanga, Lau Group, Fiji
20 October 2013 | Village of Maunaithaki, Fulanga, Lau Group, Fiji
20 October 2013 | Southern Lau Group, Fiji
29 September 2013
10 August 2013 | Savusavu, Vanua Levu
06 July 2013
02 July 2013
01 July 2013
13 November 2012 | Vava'u, Tonga
04 September 2012 | Bora Bora, French Polynesia
31 July 2012 | Uturoa, Raiatea
14 June 2012 | Tiputa, Rangiroa, Tuamotus

Getting Used to New Zealand

24 June 2013
When we were headed to New Zealand from Tonga, we thought how nice it would be for a change to be back in a First World country where English is the official language, and where boat parts and good beer would be just a few of the staples readily at hand. And New Zealand, with its jaw dropping beauty, friendly people, great wines and lovely summer weather, soon exceeded almost every expectation - but some things did take getting used to!

LINGO I suppose it would be turn-about fair play for a Kiwi visiting America, but getting used to some of the unique Kiwi expressions took some time, with a few giggles along the way. For example, cars don't have hoods and trunks, they have bonnets and boots. (And speaking of cars, they have the distracting habit of driving on the wrong side of road, which turns those of us from North America into bobble-heads trying to safely cross the street; and, as we also quickly learned, pedestrians seldom have the right- of-way, indeed they are often treated like targets!)

I quickly tossed in the towel when it came to ordering a cup of coffee (not to be confused with a "cuppa" - which is short for a cup of tea); "long black" "short white" etc. - it's as bad as knowing how to order something at Starbucks. If it was afternoon, I simply deferred to ordering a beer. If it came in a can, it was in a "tinny", and a bottle, that was easy - a bottle; but if it was draught beer it was served in a "glass" (schooner), or a "handle" (pint). If you take your beer on a pic-nic or to a "barbie" (BBQ), you don't put it in a cooler, you put it in a "chilly bin." And if you have too much to drink (never me) you get "pissed."

If you need to go somewhere in a hurry, you need to "rattle your dags" - or "daggies" (dags are the wads of often dirty wool that collect on the underside of sheep). If you check something off a list, you "tick" it, and if you get something taken care of, you "get it sorted." If you did a good job of something, it's "good on ya" or "sweet as"; if things didn't work out, they went "down the gurgler."

If you go to the beach for a vacation, you might rent a "bach" (cottage), but many Kiwis just take their "caravan" (trailer or motor home). If you don't feel like cooking you could go out and order "greasies" (fish and chips - and they are; once was enough!).

Rugby borders on religion in NZ, and the national team (the best of the best that competes internationally) is the "All Blacks." Although we could never quite figure out why in such a rough and tumble, manly sport as rugby, the officials always seemed to be dressed in pink! In cricket, another sports obsession (and a very strange game that takes some serious watching to figure out) the national team is the "Black Caps."

Finally, to wrap up this segment (which could go on and on), it took some getting used to the way Kiwis pronounce "NZ" - "en zed." I'm told (but can't verify) that "zed" is the way the rest of the English speaking world (outside of America) pronounces the letter "Z."

ACCENT The Kiwis would probably be offended if we said "it all sounds British." In origin, yes, but just like in the States, where there are both subtle as well as wild swings in accent from one part of the country to the next, in Her Majesty's Realm there are significant differences in accent, as well. The Kiwi accent is apparently quite distinguishable from Australian (something we will leave for later study), and both are distinguishable from accents (plural) in the UK (to which we can somewhat attest, from listening to our British cruising friends). It took us a while to put our finger on what drives the Kiwi accent - and as best we can figure, it's a very strong emphasis on long vowel sounds. For example, the number "seven" as we pronounce it does not exist in NZ; it's pronounced "seeeven." 'Okay' is "Oh kiii" (or just "kiii"), and 'Yeah' is "Yeee aa" - and is usually uttered in duplicate or triplicate at a very rapid pace. The accent doesn't just focus on long vowel sounds, though, as there are some other anomalies, like the tendency to drop the "t" in 'thirteen' and 'fourteen' and replace it with a "d"; thus you end up with two new numbers, "thirdeen" and "fourdeen." Early on, especially when we would encounter someone of the younger generation whose speech was revved up to warp speed, we would simply resort to our "old folks" ploy, with hand cupped to the ear, of "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you," when what we really meant was "I didn't understand a word you said." We finally got most of it figure out, at least enough to feel fairly comfortable with the accent - about the time we left NZ for Fiji. But, just think how easy it will be for us when we go back in the fall - ahh, I mean spring, or whatever it is down there in November!

GROCERY SHOPPING Every new country we have visited since leaving the States has brought the challenge of re-learning how to shop for groceries! Once I figured out what stores in NZ carried the premium brands of beer that offered a selection of IPAs, and where they were stocked, I was golden. Linda, on the other hand, being responsible for all other grocery shopping, had a much harder time of it: figuring out what is and is not available; what otherwise familiar products are called (bacon being a good example, with "streaky bacon" and "middle bacon" among the choices); where something might be shelved (applesauce and ketchup being together, for example, because ketchup is "tomato sauce"); and whether something really is what it purports to be (sourdough bread being a good example - so much of what is called "sourdough" in NZ really isn't). And a camera was often an essential grocery shopping tool, to capture images of some of the more exotic offerings that never made it back to the boat, like packaged pig heads and "pork trotters."

OUT AND ABOUT As mentioned above, New Zealand is a stunningly beautiful country, and we tried to take advantage of having a car to get out and see as much of it as we could (although in the end our ambitious travel goals went down the gurgler, with at least the hope that we will see more "next time"). Every time we took or a road trip or went on a hike (a "tramp"), we took our camera, for there was always something unique, humorous, or spectacular to record for posterity: like fern leaves as big as we are; or fern "trees" that stand 20 or 30 feet high; a herd of "Oreo cows" (pictured above); or the colorful pukeko bird. We will showcase the spectacular elsewhere, but check out the "Some Funny Things In New Zealand" photo gallery for some of those images - just click on "Photo Gallery" in the right hand panel, and then click on the title of the photo gallery (or "View Album") to open it.

We do not mean to imply here that we have gotten used to all the wonderful and unique things New Zealand has to offer. It is just that now we have come to expect the unexpected, and to realize that every outing in NZ will bring new adventure, glorious sights, and fond memories; we hope you enjoy sharing some of ours with us!

Coin Operated Dog Wash
Coin Operated Dog Wash in Whangarei
Vessel Name: Bright Angel
Vessel Make/Model: 1990 Mason 44 Hull # 141
Hailing Port: Olympia, WA
Crew: Linda & Bob Hargreaves
Linda and Bob are long-time residents of Washington State - Linda was born and raised in Aberdeen and has lived in Washington all her life; Bob was born in San Diego, and moved to Washington when he was five years old. [...]
After leaving Olympia in August 2010 and sailing down the West Coast to San Diego, Bob & Linda joined the 2010 Baja Ha-Ha fleet and sailed to Mexico, where they spent a year and a half sailing in the Sea of Cortez and along Pacific Mexico. In April 2012 they joined the Pacific Puddle Jump and [...]
Bright Angel's Photos - Main
Every once in a while something will catch my eye that also tickles my funny bone. It could be a twisted sense of humor that makes me laugh, or maybe some cultural rift - who knows!? With apologies to any whom these might offend (and certainly no offense is intended) let me share a few of my chuckles (or in some cases sheer amazement) with you. LOL!
16 Photos
Created 21 October 2013
The remote island of Fulanga (also spelled Vulaga) in the southern Lau Group of Fiji is truly "Paradise Found!" We stayed in Fulanga for 35 wonderful, awe inspiring and relaxing days - and even then, we were reluctant to leave! Fulanga was resplendent with beautiful beaches, magical islands and the friendliest and most outgoing people you can imagine! With no apologies for the bulk of this album and its sub-albums, suffice to say that these are only a fraction of our digital memories of this magical place, and even less of the mental images that we will long cherish! Enjoy!
9 Photos | 14 Sub-Albums
Created 18 October 2013
One Saturday while we were in Savusavu, we took a bus trip with several of our cruising friends to Labasa (pronounced "Lambasa") for the day. Saturday is a big market day in any Fijian town or village, and Labasa is no exception - so there was plenty of hubbub and lots to see at the market. There was also a parade down mainstreet, and plenty of other unusual sights and sounds to stimulate our senses. Here are some of the highlights of that fun day!
52 Photos
Created 29 September 2013
14 Photos
Created 7 July 2013
We visited Auckland several times, and took some interesting side trips on the way back to Whangarei. Here, and in the sub-albums below, are some the highlights.
12 Photos | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 4 July 2013
We were not able to be home for Christmas in 2012, but we did get to have Christmas dinner with cruising friends Bev and Robbie (SV Mersoleil, from Seattle) and other boaters at the Riverside Drive Marina. Even though we were at Whangarei Marina in Town Basin, we got an invite to attend from Bev & Robbie, and were made to feel very welcome. It wasn't "Home for the Holidays" but it was a very nice time, nonetheless!
5 Photos
Created 3 July 2013
Going on walks or day hikes was a favorite pastime of ours in Whangarei, and there were always interesting places to go - around the Town Basin, in the hills and forests behind the town, and to the ocean beaches past Whangarei Heads. Please come along and join us on some of our favorite walks.
7 Photos | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 2 July 2013
We are not prone to visiting tourist attractions (or "tourist traps" as we sometimes call them), but we succumbed to a few "temptations" while in New Zealand - notably Sheep World (just north of Auckland), going up the Sky Tower in Auckland, and riding the Wynyard Loop trolley, also in Auckland. We hope you enjoy these photos of our visits to these "attractions;" for more information, see our blog post on "Tourist Attractions."
43 Photos
Created 1 July 2013
Linda wrote an "illustrated" Christmas Letter that she sent to family and friends from New Zealand in Dec 2012. That letter is now posted as a blog entry, and these photos are the accompanying "illustrations."
17 Photos
Created 30 June 2013
On December 8, 2012, we departed Opua and headed south to Whangarei. We planned to "park" the boat in Whangarei throughout the New Zealand summer while we focused on "land cruising" (sight seeing), a trip back to the States (in Jan & Feb), and boat projects (including a haulout in April for bottom paint and other jobs). The trip to Whangarei included two overnight stops - the first in Whangamumu Bay, and the second in Urquharts Bay, just inside Bream Head and at the start of the up river trip to the Town Basin in Whangarei. We tied to the dock at Whangarei Marina at 1630 hrs on December 10 - Linda's Birthday, with some help from our friends Bev & Robbie (SV Mersoleil), who then also helped us celebrate the day at Reva's Restaurant, just across the river from our slip. With the dock lines secured in Whangarei, our 2012 odyssey across the Pacific from Banderas Bay, Mexico - nearly 7000 nm all total - had finally come to a successful end, and we we ready to rest!
21 Photos
Created 29 June 2013
Our first stop, where we cleared into New Zealand, was Opua. Before moving south to Whangarei we visited some of the local sights.
17 Photos
Created 25 June 2013
Some things in New Zealand take some getting used to - like the lingo, the accent, the place names (at least those in Maori), and some of the unusual things in the grocery stores, about town, and out in the country. Here's a sampling.
21 Photos
Created 24 June 2013
Daniel's Bay (Hakatea Bay) - site of the TV series "Survivor Marquesas" - was our first stop on Nuku Hiva, an overnight passage from Hiva Oa. A higtlight of our stay in Daniel's Bay was the hike up to see Vaipo Falls, with a 2,000 foot drop supposedly the third highest waterfall in the world.
42 Photos
Created 6 August 2012
After leaving Hiva Oa, Hanamoenoa Bay on the neighboring island of Tahuata was the next anchorage we visited. It was a beautiful bay full of surprises - some good, some not so good!
9 Photos
Created 6 August 2012
Hiva Oa was our first "Landfall in Paradise" after leaving Mexico, and our introduction to life in the islands of French Polynesia.
14 Photos
Created 6 August 2012
Our 28 day crossing from Banderas Bay, Mexico, to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, was the culmination of many months (if not years) of planning and preparation. Shown here are some of final projects in Mexico, as well as some highlights from the crossing itself.
39 Photos
Created 5 August 2012
Just about everywhere you walk in French Polynesia is like being in a botanical garden - the flowers, trees, fruit - it's one of the special treats of being here!
43 Photos
Created 4 August 2012