On the hard, the trades people generally don’t do any work on weekends. It is the only time we felt we could leave the boat. We made a run to Auckland for a change of scene, shopping and to meet some friends.
We also toured the waterfront. It struck me as similar to Vancouver with some big differences. When the traffic lights are red for the cars and green for the pedestrians, people cross in all directions at the same time, even diagonally! Monty, having walked to work for about 15 years, was quick to observe this!
We stayed downtown at the Crowne Plaza which is conveniently located to restaurants and shops.
We had a brief visit with Seathan and Audrie and their two children aboard S/V Rehua, another Antares 44i. Their boat was built one after ours in Canada. They bought their boat in Greece and have been out for 2 years.
We also met up with Mark and Sarah and their kids, from S/V Field Trip, also an Antares 44i, built in Argentina. They started cruising in Argentina and have been out for about 4 years.
We found our Auckland food experiences were excellent. We had a glass of wine and some appies at one spanish tapas place and dinner at a hip oyster bar/restaurant, called Depot, situated next to the Sky Tower.
After last year’s experience anchoring in Fiji, we plan to buy a set of scuba gear, at least for Monty. That way, we will be equipped to retrieve our anchor chain from coral. We went to a few shops in Auckland and got quotes, but are continuing to do research.
A lot of things here in New Zealand cost 50% more than in Canada, even after the exchange. Sometimes double. I have tried to buy online but some items are not shipped from the US to here. The companies probably have agreements to prevent competition with local distributors.
Early on Sunday, we met our Vancouver friends, Celine and Paul, at the Auckland airport. They brought us a few things from Whistler that we had forgotten to pack or did not have space for in our 6 pieces of luggage. It is strange the things you just can’t find in stores here. It was great they agreed to do that for us! :->