Saturday, November 29, 2008

more fun around Opua, Pahia and Keri Keri

We went into Keri Keri and did some touring around. Steve got to use his "boss's" car..... how cool
is that?! Glen and Sally joined us in their new van they just bought. lots of cars being bought here in Opua.
We had a great day doing the touristic thing! came back and had a wonderful dinner and evening with our friends - fellow Canadians from Alberta- on " New Paige" . they have a beautiful boat, its a power boat, "Nordhaven" . We had a wonderful time , they are leaving today , but we will see them in Auckland over Christmas. They have a little girl named "Paige" and our kids and her get along great. Paige is extremely creative, she knitted Maya a lovely small bag for her birthday, kinda like the beaded bags I make.
sit back and enjoy the photos. we are off to Russell today , so look for more tomorrow.

everyone trying to "paddle their own canoe" !!
here is an anchor used for for the canoes
this is a real dug out canoe of the Maoris. they are very old - especially the one on the left
Maya is trying to start a fire the old way, rubbing sticks together
this is the Chiefs home, big compared to the regular villagers homes
See how small the Maori village homes where. That's Emma beside the door. they were this small to keep the heat in.
The "Kemp" home missionaries
Oh, the happy Tremblay family on the porch of the oldest building in NZ -
Oh look at all the goodies at the girls found at the store! can I have this, can I have that.....
checking out the beds with Glen and Sally ( Dorothy Marie)

Kyle loved the old nails , here are how they made them
Maya learning how they used to grind the wheat. she loved this ! Grandma do you remember how to do it? tee hee

the view of the river in front of the store.
this is the Stone Store - NZ's oldest stone building . bulit in 1836
The kids and I hiked from Opua to Pahia via the coastal trail, this was so beautiful! took us up and down through the forest also with great views of the harbour areas. We even walked a long boardwalk through a swap area, then came through a campground with a playground and all ot the kids had fun on that thing. Emilie and Jayred also joined us. it was a 2.5 hr hike. and boy did our feet feel it! Well worth the trip though. However, we were so tired once we got to Pahia, we only looked in a couple of shops - good way not to spend money!!! We had a well deserved ice cream and then took a cab back to Opua. My kids told ma a few times on the hike that they were glad I made them come! I have such great kids!!
the boardwalk over the swappy area. this was a very cool hike to do!
the start of our trail hike to Pahia. little did we know how long the hike really was!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This is Steve in his work coveralls! he looks so cute!!Weird to see burgandy instead of blue. Steves boss has let us borrow a car while we are here. So will check out more sights around here.

We have been just hanging around the boat and town of Opua the last couple of days.... It seems each business is having open houses with lots of good food and drinks ( including beer and wine) for free!! this little town is the friendliest town ever! We had a potluck dinner at the club house last night and the local school came and did a Moari song/dance entertainment for us cruisers! My kids loved it, especially Emma - she really likes to watch the kids her age perform, reminded us of the school performances at False Creek.

these two carvings are inside the Treaty house on the the walls. absolutely beautiful inside there

Here are the culture show pictures that Sally of Dorothy Marie took. boy that show was great! They are big on showing their tongues! this is to scare their enemies . At the show , Steve was picked as our Chief ( for our Opua group) and had to be invited into the Treaty House. One of the tasks Steve had to do was to stand very still and keep eye contact with the guys as they demonstrated their skill . Then Steve had to pick up the item place in front of him by the warriors without loosing eye contact! Steve did very good and we were invited in. In the way past if you lost eye contact to the warrior you would be killed! Glad to say , Steve would not have been killed, he never lost eye contact!! Well done Steve.

These are the jellyfish that are all over here. have to be careful not to suck one up while running the engine or generator! One cruiser even sucked one up his intake for the head!!! not a pretty sight!

This is the Maori alphabet. thought you'd get a kick out of it. not a lot of letters , eh?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

tourist time in Opua area

we went for a exploring time to the Kawiti glow worm caves - very cool! limestone cave full of glow worms. this peticular cave has been in the same family for over 300 years. the glow worms looked like stars in the sky! we all love it. We went right through the cave from one end to the other and then did a " bushwalk" throught the forest. sure reminds me of BC!
then we stopped in Kawakawa to see the famous toilets. yes that's right toilets. These are the most funkiest washrooms I have ever seen. Annette you'd love them!! This ia also where the vintage railway is and we saw the steam engine go on by.
the day before we went to some waterfalls and walked a wonderful trail there! just love the vegetaion here.
Most of the boats we know are now here and we are very happy to see them all! our newest friends " Meridain " arrived with Tin Soldier on Saturday. so good to have them here.
Saturday night we went to the Bay of Islands Culture Show- all about the story of New Zealand and the treaty of Waitangi. the show was in this beautiful sacred Maori building! beautiful singing and dancing . We learned all about the first Maori to come from Tahiti to NZ - the arrival of the Europeans , signing of the treaty and all the customs the Maori's have. It so reminded us of our own first nations! Sally of Dorothy Marie took some photos that I will post later once I get them. doesn't do it justice though! the show combines Maori culture, live drama and covers the arrival of Kupe , the first Maori cheif to discover NZ. loved it!!!

We had a big fish feast aboard Orca III on Sunday with 6 other boats - what a feast ! sure was fun sharing all that fish. And we still have a ton!! Steve is working today and it has been raining and very windy all yesterday and today - they are callling for 50 knt gusts!
enough talking - enjoy the photos

Maya at the Hunderwasser's Kawakawa Toilets
Exit to Kawiti Glow - Worm ( Pura Toke in Maori) cave!
Emily and Kyle on the trail by the waterfall! very much like BC
Waterfall is small compared to some in BC - here are the kids! we had a nice day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life in Opua NZ

had quite the birthday party for Kyle and Maya, games, cake, ice cream,presents and enough sugar to last a life time!! they had a great time.................
The 3 kid boats went for a tour in the van we rented to Whangerai to check it out. We have decided not to take our boat there, and will probably haul out up here in Opua ( Jan sometime) but the plans have been known to change!! It was a great drive down, very scenic, so much like BC!
did the clothing/shoe shopping.......... everyone needed shoes and clothes - found the best store for that finally at the end of the day!! "Farmers"! we love that store, only wish we found it earlier on in the day. We were trying to get to a glow worm cave and waterfall, but it ended up being to late in the day and we were so tired . hoping to do the glow worm cave 'Fri or Sat.
We sure are enjoying Opua and area...check out the pictures
These are around the Bay of Islands - so much like the Gulf Islands don't you think?!

Monday, November 17, 2008

We made it to NEW ZEALAND!

Yeah! Orca III made it to NZ! We are on the quarantine dock waiting to clear customs!!We are vey happy to be here! Enjoy all the photos from Tonga to NZ. we have just been settling in . We won the biggest fish contest with the All points Rally! made it in just in time for the last event - the big dinner! Everyone happy to see us. Tomorrow is Maya's 12th birthday - Party on Orca 3
The Dorothy Marie - Glen and Sally
Dorothy Marie under spinnaker sail on her way to NZ
Orca III at Minerva Reef- we had the best potluck on her. we fed 19 people Marlin!
Dorothy Marie just ahead of us! Excellent buddy boaters!
The big Marlin we caught!! 8 ft long and 200 lbs. took all 5 of us to get it on board!
Airforce Orion! buzzed by us in Minerva Reef and took down boat info!
Orca III on her way to NZ!

Tongans own dancing queen. and they say they Tongan people are so reserved?! Not at this party! That's also the Tongan flag!

Sally ( Dorothy Marie) and Dionne dancing up a storm!
Blue Water Cruising photo op! It's a burp in Tonga. we had 6 BCA boats there!

The roast pig!! highlight of the meal
the birthday boys - Early and son (owners of big mama's) they fed all the cruisers that night for free! and through one hell of a great party! we danced all night long
Birthday boys in traditional Tongan dress!

Steve and Glenn playing with the band at the birthday bash Big Mama's!!
Fueling up in Nuku Alofa! not the fastest way!! we took on 800 lts - 600 inside and 200 in jerry cans on the deck. only 3 jerry cans for us , the rest for other cruisers!

Our Miss Maya! she went all out even in the rain!
Halloween in Nuku Alofa Tongatapu at Big Mama's! cruising kids having fun! it poured rain like crazy that night!!
the water was so clear, warm and great snorkeling! sandy beaches too!
the 3 tremblay kids - so what a life they live!
these are not birds! fruit bats ( aka flying foxes) everywhere !

Ha Ano Ha' Pai group of Tonga! look closely .. that's our boat way out there





'Lil' putt putt

'Lil' putt putt
Christmas at Snug Cove