Captured by the welcome and beauty of New ZealandCaptured by the welcome and beauty of New Zealand

The Tecla has been in New Zealand for a few days now. The finish was a very slow one, 1,7 knots crossing the finish with the Europa drifting in front of us. When the sun was up and the finish line and wind where gone, we started the engine to get into Opua, Port for Clearance and Quarantine. This went very smooth and quick, so we left again in the afternoon and moored alongside in Russel, a small lovely town a bit further in the bay of Islands. First evening in New Zealand, out for dinner, meeting such nice people and the next morning came our official welcome from the Maori people. First we had a welcome next to the boat, two rowing groups gave us a haka and a song.

Then the official welcome on shore was a full on Haka, a war dance, a challenge, met by the captains of the Tall Ships gathered in the bay. Beautiful singing, amazing dance and expressions and goose pumps on your arms. The next day we left for an anchorage in Whangamumu bay, beautiful. Spectacular entrance, sheltered from all sides and beaches everywhere. We had drinks on a beach, hoping to do a BBQ there as well, but the water came up quick and high, so BBQ on board. Our view was spectacular, birds singing, green trees up high and greengrass fields in between. In the evening we were joined by the Spirit of New Zealnd and the Young Endeavour.

Early in the morning anchor up again, next stop was Port Fitzroy. The entrance to this small place on Great Barrier Island was spectacular. Rocks coming up high on both sides, trees all the way down into the water, really breath taking. In Fitzroy we could moor alongside the harbour quay and met one of the locals who told us more about the island and surroundings. Again an early start, thinking we would go to Whaiheke Island, but our appointment there was cancelled, so we headed back to Great Barrier Island and stayed in Tryphena. After the ferry left we could moor alongside again so a quiet night on board.

Next day – Waiheke Island. We had a nice sail over, some parts down wind some parts close hauled and again a nice spot to go alongside. We then went for a Winetasting experience to one of the wineries on the Island called Poderi Crisci, where one of our crew works. If we ever come back here, we will be back there as well..! Have a look : PODERI CRISCI Then another day of sailing to some islands a few miles closer to where our sail in would be, we dropped anchor between Rangitoto and Motutapu Island. Bit of walking, nice quiet evening, early to bed.

Next day was the sail in, very easy going, we moored after 14:00 o clock and there were our friends from the vineyard again welcoming us and having dinner and champaign with us! Really amazing!   We are absolutely captured by the beauty and grace of this land.

What an amazing overwhelming natural country! I hope the following pictures will capture a bit off that amazingness that we feel.

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