We left a year ago this past weekend for our 5-year trip on Tahina – the start of the trip was from North Carolina to sail to the Caribbean. Now, after 13,000 nautical miles, 19 countries, 1 crossing of the equator, 1 International dateline crossing, 1 crossing from West to East longitude, 1 total solar eclipse, and a LOT of other fun in between – we have arrived in New Zealand, are preparing to stop sailing for a while, and spend 6 months exploring this wonderful country on land. Visit our Map page for a closer view of our travel destinations along the way.
Over the weekend we had a visit from Lara – the female half of our crew who sailed from Panama to Rarotonga with us. Her boyfriend Jason is back in the US right now getting more stuff for their move to New Zealand. Lara came to pick up the items they weren’t able to take with them on the flight from Rarotonga. Things like their guitar, surfboard, dive gear, and other clothing and equipment. It was great getting to see her and catch up on her experiences here in New Zealand so far. She just got a job in Auckland and starts full time next week.
Since we’ve arrived in New Zealand, we have done some sightseeing in Whangarei, done a bunch of laundry, got cell phone and Internet services, got electrical hookups for Tahina, and begun planning our trip home for the holidays. This morning we had a live interview for the Pacific Beat program on Radio Australia. They wanted to talk about the Tahina Expedition and our use of kite aerial photography in the Pacific to put ultra-high resolution images into Google Earth.
Today we got an interesting tour of a ship-builder called Circa which is building the motor yachts called FPB designed by Steve Dashew (see web site). We first saw one of these boats in American Samoa – the one called Sarah Sarah. Thanks to Bruce Farrand, the GM of Circa, for giving us an excellent tour of their facilities and for the opportunity to see two of the FPB 64 boats nearing completion.
On a somber note, our trip home may not be an entirely happy occasion, and our time for celebration limited. Karen’s parents are both very ill. Her mother is in the hospital again after further complications from surgery back in July. And her father has an untreatable heart condition. Their health issues may limit our chance to visit with friends and other family during our trip home. We hope everyone will understand if our visit plans get altered.