Happy Holidays (it is actually the 25th here in NZ)! We are currently on a mooring in front of Lin and Larry Pardey's house in North Cove on Kawau Island, about 40 miles north of Auckland. It's been blowing 30 to 40 knots outside the cove but much less in here. Santa and a bunch of red-cloaked elves came to visit yesterday evening in the back seat of sleek 50 foot 1930's varnished wooden runabout - in the pouring rain. As one of the locals said - full marks for Santa on that visit. We will be having Christmas dinner with David and Helen, proprietors of the Kawau Lodge, as well as some of their friends and guests. David was on a sailboat in the infamous Queen's Birthday storm (100 knots, huge seas) and has some stories that would curl your toes.
It has been great fun with much hilarity visiting with the Pardeys, both at their house and aboard Sockdolager, which is sitting pretty on a mooring right next to Taleisin. They drove up to Opua for their traditional Christmas, which involves at least 20 pounds of homemade lasagna. We are cooking up a nice big ham to bring ashore later. As soon as the weather clears we will be heading for Auckland, where we'll put Sockdolager in a marina and go spend some time in our rented flat overlooking a salt marsh, which is not far from a very fine pub that hosts a weekly Pub Quiz (and we will be assembling a killer team,) along with lots of interesting places to explore.