There is a huge chandlery here, the best we've seen since Las Palmas at the start of the ARC, so we've been buying boat spares and equipment for the various jobs that we have on our list. The team in the shop are real sailors: one crewed on Team Phillips, the ill-fated Pete Goss catamaran that dramatically broke up on a transatlantic record attempt a few years ago and he told us that they had no warning of the disaster which was all over in a minute or so - the crew spent 9 hours in the life raft. Bob, the sales manager, is an American who sailed here a few years ago and stayed and he's offered to help us with fitting a new seal to our propeller shaft - he's also offered us the use of his car today to go to the supermarket!
So, we haven't yet really had time to venture out of the environs of the marina yet but we'll do so over the next few days. The nearest town, Paihia, is a little seaside place with just a few shops and Whangerie is the nearest city, about an hour's drive from here so we're looking at renting some bikes to explore the stunningly beautiful countryside.
In the meantime, here is a selection of photos from the past couple of weeks:
Above: Changing light, on the last evening to NZ
Arriving in the Bay of Islands
Stormvogel motoring into Opua
Racing crew on Stormvogel
Farewell to the Trade Winds