A wedding and a funeral

This yacht club here in Napier is special and a complete contrast program to the one in Dunedin. Whilst in Dunedin there was always action, sailings school, regatta etc. There is not so much action here (well, at least we don't see it so much because the area is ver spread out) but lots of events. A week ago there was an event from the Jazz Club with great live music which actually was Dixi Land. On friday there was a funeral of a lady who put down in her last will that no one should wear black and that they should have a great party, her coffin (Sarg) was purple and reflected her will. So cool. Yesterday they had a wedding here of a young couple. Wedding couple and bridesmades / groom mates were delivered with a sailboat and champagne in their hands. We were always first line, because we're docked right in front of the club house. Everybody sees Alita and we get lots of compliments. 

This evening we're heading out to Tauranga, we expect a 2 day sail. 
I have just uploaded pictures from my scenic volcano flight and from the central plateau area. Just follow the links (click on the blue text):

Here are some as well: 

Moon crater walk near Taupo

Mt. Ruapehu

The tower with a „Glockenspiel" in Stratford - the only Glockenspiel in NZ


Old tunnel on the „Forgotten Highway"

Typical landscape where all the trees have been cut (which is about 98% of the whole continent) in order to make this farmland

Mt. Ruapehu, 2797m high

The red crater

Emerald lakes

Mt. Nguhere to the right, Tongariro to the left

Mt. Nguhuere, around 2200m high

Alita's new body guards

Just finished a new job: new outfit for Alita's body guards: the fenders. We are a happy boat, so even the fenders need to smile. Just following the motto: „Smile even if you're under pressure!". 






Napier - our current home

Here are some pictures of our current home Napier. 








Feels like Santa Monica 


Home away from home

So here are the pictures of the „Dakune Lodge" in Ohakune, which Marcus and I had to ourselves. Just lovely. If you have some money and want to do something new, have a go! It's for sale. 

Living room 

Dining area and view to kitchen 


View from living room to dining area - to the right the stairs which you come down from the rooms




We're having a great time driving around the central plateau. Today I flew around and over the volcanoes (as passenger). Pictures will follow these days. As our budget is low we're staying in backpackers. so far so good. The first one was ok but not what I am used to here. Last night was pretty cool - an ex- seniors home with good rooms, lounge kitchen and a huge room full of "games": ping pong table, billiard, kicker and much more. But tonight's place is just crazy cool: we've got a whole, beautiful lodge to ourselves. For 70NZ$ we have a huge woodem country lodge with huge living and dinig area, huge kitchen, games, intelligence toys, many books, big TV, fireplace and and and. They let us choose our room since we're the only guests. Breakfast is included as well as all the ingredients to make tea,coffee, hot chocolate....From the huge lounge windows you have direct view to the highest volcano,Mt Ruapehu. I would love to stay longer.
Wish I had the money or the guts: this place is for sale! It's a dream! This place is a wonderful surprise!



Wellington and the trip north

Wellington is quite a lovely capital. It is a big playground for architects, not too many old buildings can be seen. To me it looked more a bit like LEGO-town. Lots of colors, rectangular structures, playful bridges and harbor, very cheerful. Even if you don't like the style, it's nice diversity. There is something for everyone. Chic shopping in the business district and fun bars and shopping in the „Cuba quarter", the place for young people to go out. Simple pubs can be found next to stylish „IN"-locations. As colorful as the city is as colorful are the people who live in it. Just go out for Salsa and you know what I mean. Like everywhere, this is where you find all the nationalities except for the one of the country you're in ;-) The difference is that here everybody adapts to the Kiwi-life style, is open, friendly, helpful, clean. For a large city (well, in term of New Zealand, around 400.000 people is large) it is very clean. You don't see any trash on the grounds, that was really amazing. 
Wellington has a big cultural scene, lots of artists - which meant for me that I was able to find some dancing…

We arrived 6am in the morning on monday a week ago, and left 7 am in the morning 5 days later after PAM had passed through. The night pictures you see are taken monday morning as we were approaching Wellington marina, from underway on the boat! 

When we left the Wellington harbor area out to the Cook Strait dolphins greeted us. Again ;-) The first two times I did not even get up because I thought they won't stay long. And they didn't. The third time, we're already around the bottom and heading up north on the east coast, I went astern to take pictures. And I kept watching them until I was frozen in the wind. They just did not want to leave. This was the first time EVER, that I had to give up on watching the dolphins. They were just too cute. One played the clown for me, he kept jumping up right next to me, gently gliding back into the water but not without a splash through a flick of his tail - which meant a water fountain high enough to reach me on board. He did that not only once. So funny. They all jumped a lot, but this one was special. When I told them I could not stand there anymore cause I am freezing, they still stayed. But as soon as I was back in the cockpit they left. It is boring for them when no one watches. 

So now we're in Napier, did our first „ticky-tour" (cruising around in the car) to Cliffton this afternoon and are ready for the Tongariro National park with its volcanoes and for Mt. Taranaki at Plymouth, another volcano. We'll be back here thursday to leave friday morning towards Tauranga. 

Here some pix: 


The „clown" - he flicked his tail to the right just a millisecond later 

Mother and baby - always together