Stenbak Surf Shoppe

21 October 2009 | Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga
20 October 2009 | Aukland Lat 36.52S Lon 174.45E
17 October 2009 | Ridgefield, Washington
15 October 2009 | Ridgefield Washington

Made it to Tonga

21 October 2009 | Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga
Pat Stenbak
Flew to Tongatapu by way of Aukland and arrived around 7:30 last evening. The airplane ride was one of the best I've ever been on. A brand new airplane, good food, good service and free wine!

We made it through customs just fine thanks to the documentation Aaron had provided. They love you to come here but really want you to have a ticket to leave also. The food we brought for the boat was not confiscated.

We were greeted at the airport by a pleasant driver who took us 30 minutes to the hotel. Slept on the hardest bed imaginable!

We'll be meeting Aaron and Lauren at Big Mamas shortly before noon and will begin our sailing adventure.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

New Zealand to Tonga

20 October 2009 | Aukland Lat 36.52S Lon 174.45E
Pat Stenbak
Hello from New Zealand.

Patty and I are heading off to Tonga on an afternoon flight.

I'm very excited to meet Aaron and Lauren and begin our sailing adventure.

Day one in Aukland was spent getting from the airport to our hotel and then sleeping and resting.

Yesterday we took a local bus into downtown Aukland and then hopped on a tour bus to get acquainted with the downtown area and see a bunch of stuff rather quickly.

We hopped off the bus in a shopping/dining community called Parnell. Neither of us are particularly interested in shopping and, even if we were, we cannot take any more stuff with us. Our bags are very full.

So, we discussed the things that we have in common and we both really like light lunches with a glass of white wine, so we sat in a little bar and grille called Iguacu and had lunch and a glass of wine.

A little later, we hopped back on the bus and headed to Sky Tower which is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Taller than the Eifel Tower and the Sydney Tower in Australia and the Donaturn Tower in Vienna, Austria.

The Sky Tower also has a casino on the main floor where I spent 2 NZ dollars and got nothing in return, so quit while I was behind.

The opportunity exists (for an outrageous sum of money) to walk on the outside of the tower while suspended by guy wires. Or, for the more adventurous group, you can base jump to a spot nearly 1000 feet below. Neither of us were inclined to base jump but considered the skywalk. Unfortunately, we both decided against it and this morning we are wondering "why not?". But alas, I guess it will have to wait until our next visit, where I will surely walk along the outside rim of the building and perhaps even do a little chick dancing.

After we left the Sky Tower we headed down to the Ferry Building on the waterfront in downtown Aukland and wandered around in the building and eventually made our way to the Harbourside Seafood Bar & Grill where we watched the sailboats and the cruise ships and the ferrys meander around in the harbor. We both enjoyed another glass of wine and enjoyed the sunshine and peacefullness of the harbor.

There is much to do in Aukland but the rest of it will have to wait for another day and time.

We are flying on Air New Zealand flight 866 at 4 pm New Zealand time. We arrive in Tongatapu at 6:50 pm. We're spending the night at the International Dateline Hotel and then meeting up with Wayward Wind in the morning.

All is well. I hope everyone in my listening audience is doing well. We are happy and safe.

No More Counting the Days

17 October 2009 | Ridgefield, Washington
Pat Stenbak
Ok, so I've been counting the days for so long, but no more. Today's the day. No more meltdowns and no more tears. Just excitement at finally getting to do what I have always dreamed of doing.

Today I'll be heading to the airport -- thanks Paul for the ride! We will eventually end up in Aukland, New Zealand 2 days after we leave Portland. Partially because it's a helluva long way to New Zealand from here and partly because we'll be crossing the international date line and losing a day. Don't worry though, I'll get it back when I return to Portland in November.

I've struggled with the packing but have finally settled on the things that will keep me warm, dry and safe plus some stuff that's just for fun -- like my snorkeling gear. It's quite a bunch of stuff, but I like Patty's suggestion about using a rolling duffle. It's heavy but thanks to the wheels it's manageable. When I get to Wayward Wind, I'll just stick it on the end of my bunk -- I'm quite short in case you didn't notice -- and the rest of the bunk will be for the rest of me!

Patty convinced me to purchase a VIP pass for our layover in Fiji. So, now for 3 solid hours, we'll be FIJI VIPS! We can clear customs in the lounge, get a massage, take a shower or just rest up in air conditioned comfort before our final flight to Aukland, NZ.

We're spending 2 nights and 2 days in Aukland before catching our next flight to Tonga to meet up with Aaron and Lauren -- the skipper and his first mate.

Tonga to New Zealand

15 October 2009 | Ridgefield Washington
Pat Stenbak
Hard to believe but in just 2 short days, I will be hopping on a plane and heading halfway around the world and into the southern hemisphere where (finally) I'll be having a change in lattitude, change in attitude (instead of just singing the Buffett tune).

My thanks to all the people who have made this incredible opportunity possible. To my husband, Mike, who has always believed in me and thinks I can do anything. To my good friend Sandy who introduced me to most of the sailors I know, including Aaron and Lauren whom I have not yet met. To Patty who asked me to go along and helped dub me the "come along girl". To Shari who gave me a 3 month leave of absence and to Kim Z who is busy as we speak doing much of the work I would be doing if I was actually at work.

So, I'll be hopping on several planes over the next few days. Portland to Los Angeles. Los Angeles to Fiji. Fiji to Aukland (NZ) and finally on to Tongatapu (Tonga) to meet up with Aaron and Lauren, the captain and first mate of SV Wayward Wind.

We will arrive in Tongatopu on October 22. Get to know each other and the boat, then we're off to New Zealand by way of Minerva Reef. Should be a short stop and then the rest of the voyage to the Bay of Islands on the north island of New Zealand.

I'll be returning to Portland on November 19. Just in time to take our daughter Nichole to New York City for Thanksgiving. With any luck at all we'll be having Thanksgiving Dinner in the diner where they filmed Seinfeld.

Thanks to the well wishers. Please pray for fair winds and following seas. I'll need all the help I can get.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode...


Vessel Name: Somehow
Vessel Make/Model: Taswell 43
Crew: Mike and Pat Stenbak
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Somehow's Photos -

SV Somehow

Who: Mike and Pat Stenbak