New Year's Eve in Whangaroa was fabulous! The Kingfish resort buffet dinner was a veritable feast! Platters upon platters of every kind of seafood we could stuff into ourselves, and then of course, there were the platters of succulent New Zealand lamb, turkey, ham, grilled veggies, amazing salads and desserts that made us want to explode from all of the gluttony. We were the only Americans that we know of, except for a few of the crew of that gargantuan yacht anchored out in the bay called SuRi. It was hands down the ugliest yacht we have seen. But it had all of the toys – numerous launches and all the normal stuff that goes with a multibillion dollar yacht, including a helicopter. We had been watching the crew play and "heli" around all day. Rumors were flying that this was the luxury yacht of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and while the owners are away….well the crew played and played. We didn't much care, because none of us care much for Tom Cruise, but the Kiwis were buzzing with speculation. Apparently, these beautiful hidden anchorages are the playgrounds of many Hollywood and otherwise celebs, since they feel they can vacation in NZ relatively anonymously.
Frank, Earl and Bob enjoyed after dinner Scotch's and Cuban cigars while the band played and the people danced. We girls were struggling to stay awake and by 11:30, we piled into dinghies and headed for the peace and quiet of our own little yachts. Are we old farts, or what?
January 1, we spent the day hiking and relaxing. January 2nd, we were back on the phone with Chris trying to get a clue from him about the disposition of our outboard. No news there. One day, Marsha and I borrowed David's car to go into Keri Keri for some provisioning of fresh foods, propane and to run errands for the guys. We continued to enjoy fresh oysters, clams, green lip mussels and all that the bay had to offer. Finally, on January 7th, Chris admitted defeat and told Frank that if he would come and get it, we had a new outboard motor. No more fussing around. Glory Halleluiah! So, for the third and final time, David loaned us his car – or rather to the boys. They returned with smiling faces with our new 15 hp Yamaha.
The morning of the 8th we finally departed the beautiful Whangaroa area, getting underway we sailed north to Mangonui, along with "Northern Winds" and "Mahurangi". The trip was a perfect sail! Beautiful, blue-sky day. We arrived in time to dine at the famous Mangonui Fish Shop, where the Fish and Chips is king! We spent the next day hiking up to the top of the local mount and strolling the artsy boulevard along the waterfront.
By this time, after all the waiting we had missed our window of opportunity to sail over the top and make our way to the South Island via the Tasman Sea, so we decided to turn back around and make for the South Island via the east coast. We made an early departure for Whangamumu.