We’re in New Zealand!

Oh, it feels good to arrive. We sailed into the Bay of Islands this morning, around 9 a.m., and got to the customs dock shortly after. The check-in process was hassle free and we only had to part with our fresh veggies and non-New Zealand meat — we got to keep all of our dairy and noodles and spices.

We were all ready for a long, hot shower and some relaxation after the bumpy ride down here. Brian and Brady were especially smelly and we knew that boat showers wouldn’t be enough to wipe out the stench, so we checked into a cheap backpacker’s motel in Pahia — the main town just a few miles north of Opua. Each of us took two long, hot showers and had naps in front of the TV. It had been almost two years since I’d showered off the boat. Land showers are so different than boat showers — unlimited hot water and room to move around. It was a great way to celebrate our arrival.

Right now we’re tied up to a dock, enjoying the calm and quiet of marina life. In a few days we’ll make our way down to Auckland, where we’ll try to gracefully slip back into city life. We dug out our jeans and socks and sweaters, so we’re sporting cool weather clothing for the first time in more than a year. I love it, but Brian’s complaining a bit about wearing shoes.

It’s exciting to be here. Oh, and thanks for all the kind words and concern about my seasickness. I started feeling much better on day five, and today it’s like I was never sick at all. It’s amazing how the sight of land can cure what ails the tired sailor.