Blog Archives

Autumn Harvest Season in New Zealand, Saturday Whangarei Growers Market

Whangarei Growers Market Vendor, North Island, New Zealand

There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900, a German Philosopher)

We spent most of our sailing years in the tropics. Staying in New Zealand for a longer time because John broke his wrist, I am experiencing three seasons here.

It is the middle of autumn now. Someone recently told me about a local farmers market on Saturdays from 6 AM to 10 AM.

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Sailing near Auckland and Whangarei, in New Zealand

Green Mussel Farm near Waimate Island, New Zealand

Our sailing experience near Auckland is one of the best. There are many islands and well-protected anchorages wherever we did a day sailing. No loud music played on neighboring boats and most of the places were quiet, with only the sound of pure nature.

We were mostly by ourselves. It made me think a lot about “Purpose of Life”. My recent conclusion is that “Life is to be happy” and “Happiness comes from progress”.

My problem in New Zealand is to remember and pronounce its island names written in Maori language.

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Hiking to Mount Hobson Summit on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

This hike is about 11 miles round trip from sea level to the summit (about 2,000 ft). Watch YouTube here.

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Happy New Year 2024!

View from the Stony Batter Historic Reserve Hiking Trail, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

“Chase your passion!” – that’s my New Year’s mantra.

Summer is here. The days, which were over 16 hours long on December 22nd, are now just a little under 16 hours. With daylight lasting until 9 pm, I often find myself missing my bedtime, but I can’t help but enjoy it.

Auckland has many small islands with well-protected anchorages. We’ve been exploring these areas by sailboat and discovered that Kiwis truly embrace the art of sailing. It’s easy to see why Auckland is known as the “City of Sails.”

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A Month Stay in Auckland, New Zealand

River by Waipapa Dam, Outside of Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

The population of New Zealand is about 5.2 million. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand while Auckland is the largest city with about 30% of the country’s population.

Auckland is known as the “City of Sails”. In 2017, when we sailed in Bermuda, we witnessed Team USA losing the America’s Cup to Team New Zealand. Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021, Team New Zealand successfully defended the cup. The next race, the 37th America’s Cup is scheduled to take place between August and October 2024 Barcelona,

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Sailing from American Samoa, Minerva Reef, to New Zealand

A Map of North Minerva Reef (Source: Google Earth): “The Minerva Reefs (Tongan: Ongo Teleki) are a group of two submerged atolls located in the Pacific Ocean between FijiNiue and Tonga. The islands are the subject of a territorial dispute between Fiji and Tonga, and in addition were briefly claimed by American Libertarians as the centre of a micronation, the Republic of Minerva.” Source: Wikipedia)

(October 20 to November 10, 2023, Total 21 minus1 Days at Sea) We checked out American Samoa on the 19th.

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Rich Tradition and Culture in American Samoa

White Sunday (2nd Sunday in October) Performance in a Local Church. Following Monday (In US, it is the Columbus Day) is a holiday. Tutuila Island, American Samoa

(September 8 to October 20, 2023) With the exception of the poor holding (when strong winds like 43 knots) in the Pago Pago Anchorage, American Samoa has to be the friendliest island we have been on and the happiest people we have ever met. If you smile at them, they immediately smile back. It is not like any other place we have been.

Plus a hospital (US Standard Facility) visit through the Emergency room was $20.00.

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Two Samoas: Americanized Samoa and Samoa

Flag of American Samoa

In the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, American Samoa is the only US Territory south of the equator. Pago Pago port is a strategic location and well-protected harbor. American Samoa is located approximately 2,600 miles (about 4,150 km) from Hawaii, which is equivalent to the distance from New York to San Francisco by air travel.

We are here in American Samoa to prepare for our cat’s import documentation for our upcoming voyage to New Zealand. Additionally, there is a US Post Office in Pago Pago, making it easy to send mail from the States.

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Sailing from Bora Bora to Pago Pago, American Samoa

Dashboard Decoration in a Local Bus, American Samoa. I love taking buses in American Samoa.

(August 30 – September 8, 2023) This trip marks our fourth-longest sailing voyage, covering approximately 1,200 nautical miles. We didn’t stop at the Suwarrow Atoll (Cook Islands) and sailed directly from Bora Bora to Pago Pago. John wanted to have sufficient time to get his shipping from the States. American Samoa has a US Postal Office and US Federal Government Offices.

We departed Bora Bora under a full moon but arrived with less than a quarter moon. We made a good speed for the first two days.

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Bora Bora Island with Shades of Blue

Motu (Flat Land) on the East Side of Bora Bora Island (Non-Flat Land), Society Archipelago, French Polynesia

(August 17 to 30, 2023) Our 90-day French Polynesia visa just ended. We picked up our departure documents and had our passports exit-stamped at the Bora Bora Office of Gendarmerie (French Polynesia Law Enforcement). Our next destination is Pago Pago, American Samoa. En route, we plan to stop by Suwarrow Atoll of Cook Islands, if permitted.

Bora Bora Island is a dream destination for many. We visited here mainly because of its fame and its location along our route to American Samoa.

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