Well it is that time of year again when we send out our Best Wishers to you all for a Very Happy Christmas, and a Safe And Prosperous New Year. Where ever you are, do enjoy this season and take care. Thank you all who have kept in touch with us over the year and passed on your news to us. It is always fun and interesting to hear what others are up to.
The Commander and I are down in New Zealand for the festive season having left SHAMAL out on the hard in a marina in Guatemala. The main reason for this trip was so I could sign up for our New Zealand pension. One has to be in the country to do so. Thanks to all the hard work done by our Shore Manager – son Murray, the process went smoothly. So, that will help with our budget for this next season. We will be spending Christmas Day with Alec’s side of the family, and then New Year with my brother John and his wife Noelene in the city of Napier – about a five hour drive from us.
For all of you who have asked, my cousin Simon who was with us at South Water Cay in Belize, and was hit by a fishing boat while swimming, has nearly fully recovered. He is back working on his small farm, and planning an overseas trip for next year. What a lesson we have learnt from that horrid experience, but, his Christmas will be spent enjoying time with his family.
|Making Hay South Island|
|Car Ferry between Nth & Sth Islands|
We have just completed a three and a half week road trip around both the North and South Islands with our Shore Manager. He deserved a break with all the work he had done for us this last 18mths. It was fun to catch up with family and friends again. We had stunning weather for the whole trip. We visited parts of the country we had not seen before. We also visited the South Island coastal town of Kaikoura which was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake last November. It was so fascinating to see how the coastline was literally pushed out of the sea up to 2-6mts in places. Talking with people who experienced it, it is a night they will never forget. The common thread which they all told us, was the noise it created, and how the shaking just went on and on – for about 2 minutes. Roads in the area are slowly opening again, but major road works will continue for some time to come. It shows we really do live in the “shaky Isles”.
We will be in New Zealand until mid-January when we return to the States for a week to visit family and pick up a bag of spare parts we have purchased, then we will head for Guatemala to make SHAMAL ready for another season of adventures. We hope to be heading back into the Caribbean in early February.
|Looking down on Kaikoura|
Once again we wish you all a happy festive season
The Admiral and The Commander