How to Live in Your Car for a Month

When we bought our van, Sage, in mid-November, our main concern was to find an inexpensive 6- or 7-seater vehicle that could transport us, our children and their spouses during their visit to New Zealand over the Christmas holiday. “By the way,” the friendly car dealer said as we signed the papers, “did you know […]

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Friend or Foe?

Shortly after our arrival in New Zealand last October, a friend in the US asked us about  the present-day relationship between the Maori and the New Zealanders of European descent. “Is there apartheid?” she asked. This is not the type of question a short-term visitor should presume to answer without research and evidence, and our […]

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All Work and No Play

…makes for surly sailors. Just ask, if you could, the residents of 19th-century Russell, New Zealand. Located on the beautiful Bay of Islands, Russell was the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand and a welcome port of call for the whaling ships and merchant vessels that dropped anchor in its turquoise waters, sometimes after […]

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50 Shades of Green

Just how beautiful is New Zealand? Let me count the ways. First, there’s the coastline. So far we have sailed past rocky cliffs and jutting peaks, shining bays dotted with islands and picturesque anchorages, pristine white-sand beaches, and swathes of forest right down to the shoreline. Long stretches are undeveloped, and those that are comprise […]

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It’s a Hard Life

Eric often says that one year of cruising puts ten years of wear and tear on a boat, and though I hope we don’t look it, sometimes it feels that way for us, too. So one of the reasons we’ve been eagerly anticipating our six-month stay in New Zealand is that it gives us the […]

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We’re in New Zealand!

In fact, we arrived six days ago, and it’s finally sinking in. I can even say/write it without an exclamation point: We’re in New Zealand. See how calm I am? But then the delight and sheer relief of having made it overtake me again. We’re in New Zealand! We did it! And we didn’t die […]

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Last Chance at Paradise

When Eric and I arrived in Fiji in early September, we were elated. Fiji is our final stop in the Pacific islands before jumping off to New Zealand in mid-October, and with its sparkling water, beautiful anchorages, white sand beaches and islands galore, it is extolled by sailors as one of the premier cruising grounds […]

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Tonga Tale

Which of the following can you do in Tonga? Eat tapas at a Basque tavern Swim with humpback whales Attend a transvestite show Win free beer A little background: Tonga is a kingdom of 107,000 people in the South Pacific. It consists of over 170 islands in three groups spread from north to south over […]

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How I Met Your Father

When people ask how Eric and I met, the short answer is, “In college.” But there’s a bit more to it, and though we’ve each told the story dozens of times over the years, we’ve never written it down. Now seems a serendipitous time to do so. On 27 August 2018 Eric and I celebrated […]

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Fa’a Samoan–The Samoan Way

The first thing you need to know is that there are two Samoas. Originally they were one, but after a civil war between Samoan tribes in the 1880s-90s, along with colonial interference by Britain, Germany and the USA, the island group was divided between the USA and Germany by the Tripartite Convention of 1899. I […]

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