Dec. 4 wet wet wet Opua

The routine here is to buy a car from Cars For Cruisers then sell it back to him.  It’s much cheaper than renting.  Opua is a tiny marina/village and everything is a car ride away.  It would be impossible to try and manage our errands via bus or taxi.  The marina office told us power/electricity is very expensive in NZ.  ($1US=$1.25NZ).  We pay $2NZ for a 4 minute hot shower, $4NZ for a load of laundry to wash and another $4 to dry.  We got spoiled with Pago Pago prices.

We saw bits of blue sky but everything feels damp.  Now I know why they don’t want us bringing in anything that will sprout.  Our cushions down below got soaked two days ago and are still very wet.  I wonder how they will ever dry.  It’s a challenge to keep the inside of the boat dry.  Where to put the wet stuff until it’s dry?  It rained almost every day, all day long.

Driving on the left side of the road requires total concentration.  We rode in silence while Jim negotiated the round abouts and I navigated using the road map. No this isn’t backseat driving.   Both of us were white knuckling it as we tried to overcome the anxiety of cars heading toward us on the right side of the road.  It took about a week to relax about driving.  The roads are very well maintained and signage is excellent.  There’s no roadside litter or distracting billboards, just vistas of lush green hills dotted with sheep or cattle.

We drove to Whangarei to reserve a slip in Town Basin Marina and plan to sail the boat down as soon as weather permits so we can find a boatyard and begin to make repairs.

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