Wow we really haven't been too good at keeping up to date, and this is only going to be brief. From the Marlborough sounds we sailed to New Plymouth on the west coast of the north Island - a fairly ordinary harbour that copped a lot of swell from the Tasman. Found a rat on board who had obviously hitched a ride with us from Picton when we laid alongside the fuel dock for a while. A new friend lent us a car for a week or so which helped us do a bit of shopping & sight seeing, including a tour around Mt Taranaki.
After a couple of weeks here we set sail after an intense gale & made the trip up the west coast of the North Island & over the top to Matai Bay. Thence Whangaroa, & many more day hops eventually down to Auckland.  Here we have done a lot of little jobs on the boat, as well as catching up with Tony & Chree our friends from here in 1979, Tony & Chris from Saudi Arabia work days, Nikki & family daughter of English friends, Alli, daughter of Adelaide friends, also Tom & Dianne & Peter & Elaine, both couples we met when we were here in 1979!! Great fun to catch up after all these years.
We hired a car for a few days, Tom lent us a car for a few days, & Vesper Marine from whom we purchased an AIS lent us their van for our last minute shopping & getting the gas bottles refilled. How blessed are we to have such thoughtful people around.  We had many a meal with Tony & Chree as well as a trip out on their 40ft launch & a walk on Rangitoto Island.
We have booked Customs for 11.30 tomorrow morning to get a clearance to head for Niue, a little island about 250 miles east of Vavau, one of the upper island groups in Tonga. Really looking forward to sea & air getting warmer day by day, & hopefully some nice swimming & diving.
Apparently there is a whale & calf in the anchorage at Niue so that should be a real treat for us.
Must sign off now & will be out of contact for a couple of weeks until we can find an internet cafe or similar in Niue.
Cheers for now & appologies for the slack blog updates.