Tuesday, December 1, 2009

R & R

After two weeks of trying to get projects started on the right foot, and actually completing one project (servicing the heads), I was off to Auckland first to participate in a boucan of the New Zealand table, second to meet with Debbie who will sail with us to Sydney, third to meet with Wayne Johnson, a friend of Tom whom I met in Wrightsville Beach, and finally to get to visit Auckland a little prior to making a real tour in January.
The brotherhood boucan was a great one. First, we had a meeting during which the New Zealand brothers conducted the business 
of running their brotherhood, then, as always there was plenty of excellent food, especially the New Zeala
nd beef, and many different wines from New Zealand. Great evening.
Our host, Jim, had organized accommodation for everybody, even using a neighbour's cottage, so nobody had to use hotel or motel fa
Next morning, they were waiting for me ! This was the day of THE game, I mean rugby game opposing the All Blacks and France, and I was kind of pushed to bet for the french. Adios my money ! The french were trashed and I lost my bet. However, the loss was compensated again by great food and wine.
In the afternoon, Gary and Beryl took me to Nigel's who was hosting what could be the beginning
 of a long serie of Christmas parties. Apparently, like at home, Christmas starts at Thanksgiving, almost . . . .
After that, Gary took me to my hotel, the Rainbow hotel, which was OK and inexpensive, but quite noisy as it is full of chinese guests who are even noisier than the french.
I barely had time to settle in and squeeze in a short nap, before going out again to meet Debbie who will be sailing with us to Sydney and maybe a little bit while sailing north to Darwin.
Next morning, Wayne, a friend of Tom whom I met in Wrightsville beach came to pick me up and give me a tour of Auckland. Although the w
eather was not great, raining hard at times, it was really great to have someone who knows the place show me where to go when I come back to do some real touring. We had lunch at a very busy chinese restaurant, full of chinese patrons obviously quite happy with the quality of the food, and so was I.
After that, I walked a little bit in the downtown area, returning to the marinas and strolling along Queens Street. It is a big city, with all that you find in a big city, with sidewalks, but with a culture very much anti pedestrians. You better watch it and cross only in pedestrian crossing and with the green light for you, otherwise, they will aim at you . . . . 
After that, I had dinner in a french restaurant named "Pastis", with gigantic prices and microscopic servings. Certainly my first and last visit there.
Next morning, I was very lucky as Nigel's mother in law was driving back to Whangarei and could give me a lift, and I was back on the boat by 5:00 in the afternoon, ready to start working.

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