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

Tourist Attractions

01 July 2013
Linda and I usually steer clear of tourist attractions (or “tourists traps” as we sometimes call them), but we succumbed to the “temptation” to take in a few while in New Zealand. One, called “Sheep World”, was just off the road about an hour north of Auckland. We had driven by several times, and only joked about stopping, but then our friends Bob and Ann (SV Charisma) told us it was a "must see" – so, we made plans to visit with our friends Mark and Anne (SV Blue Rodeo) when we were on our way back from a trip to Ponsonby, an upscale suburb of Auckland (more on that in an upcoming post). We also rode the Wynyard Loop trolley in Auckland, and we went to the top of Sky Tower, also in Auckland – NZ’s tallest structure.

Sheep Dog at work
Sheep dog at work

SHEEP WORLD The Sheep World visit started out less than promising – besides the four of us, there may have been two or three other people in the gift shop when we arrived. But, when we paid our admission and bought a few bags of kibble to feed the animals and stepped out into the barnyard, we were the only ones there! So we fed the animals, took some pictures of the critters, and wandered around a rather pointless “eco-trail” until it was time to head back to the barn for the “Sheep Show.” Yup – you guessed it – we were the only ones in attendance. (We were beginning to wonder if Bob & Ann were having a good laugh about recommending the place to us!)

But then the sheep dogs and their handler arrived for the “show” – and it was all uphill from there! What we learned from the presentation about how sheep dogs are trained and what they can do, how sheep are raised and the sheering process, as well as about the different grades of wool and their uses, was all absolutely fascinating. Then we stepped outside and watched as a small herd of sheep was rounded up and brought back from a nearby pasture by one of the dogs, with only the most subtle commands from the handler. It was amazing to see the dogs work and how the sheep responded - very obediently!

Back in the barn, we learned how sheep are sorted into different corrals - which Linda volunteered to do - and how they are shorn - which Linda took a turn at doing! Finally, we all got a chance to bottle feed some ravenous baby lambs – what a hoot!

After the show we had lunch at the café next to the gift shop. Yeah – you guessed it – I had a lamb burger, and it was really good!

Wynyard Loop Trolley
Wynyard Loop Trolley, Auckland

WYNYARD LOOP TROLLEY The Wynyard Loop trolley in Auckland goes nowhere, really – just around and around about a five block square area with not much in it. Locals certainly do not ride the trolley for transportation; so why did we ride it? Because, at one of the stops the trolley makes, we heard the driver giving an interesting account of some local history – and, we wanted to hear “the rest of the story.” It was time well spent, even if we just went around several blocks we had already walked by a number of times, and we ended up right back where we started. We learned a lot – even if some of what we learned was disappointing; like the fact there are no more of the original Auckland trolleys in service, and the one we were riding was actually from Melbourne, Australia!

Sky Tower, Auckland
Sky Tower, Auckland, as seen from the Ponsonby district

AUCKLAND SKY TOWER The Sky Tower is the tallest structure in NZ, and dominates the Auckland skyline – you can see it from just about everywhere. For a Washingtonian that has never even been to the top of the Space Needle, it was a strange urge indeed that led me to want to go up the Sky Tower – but I am sure glad we did! What a fantastic view from the top! After soaking in the awesome 360 degree view from the observation deck, we went up a floor to the bar and had Happy Hour with a view – fantastic!

Taking in the view!
Taking in the awesome view from atop the Sky Tower

To see some of the sights we enjoyed from the Sky Tower, as well as more pictures of our visit to Sheep World, check out the “Tourist Attractions” photo gallery. Enjoy!
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