Come Sail Away with Me

December 27 – Narrated by Alaina
Mike and I have become very good at just “winging” it as of late. Our GPS decided to crap out, I became my father’s daughter and went old school with a paper map. We do everything planned and have six days to fill? I find every pamphlet and narrow down to what we must do, reservation or not!

  Nelson is a huge destination for Kiwi’s on holiday so coming up here, we knew we could have problems finding a campsite and booking activities at the last minute. It has been kismet as we have spent the last three nights overlooking the beach and decided last night at 10pm to try and get on an all day catamaran sailing cruise through Abel Tasman Park. This meant we had to be up early and arrive to Kaiteriteri beach (an hour away from our campsite) by the latest 9:15… And this was not knowing if there was availability.

Fortunately Mike and I have our morning routine down so we were able to pop up, dismantle Dora and get on the road (pre-coffee so yay Mike!).

Thrilled it was a relatively a short drive, we arrived to Kaiteriteri and I immediately bolted to the Sailing Adventures Kiosk… As luck would have it, there were two spots available! Woohoo! Our efficiency paid off as we had 30 minutes to make lunch (PB&J master over here), make coffee, eat breakfast and get organized. Having our entire house in one little camper on wheels is quite a benefit. img_9962
Over the past two weeks we have heard how amazing Kaiteriteri is and the glorious beaches of Abel. I will be honest in that while it was definitely pretty, the sand was not soft AT ALL, in fact is was rather uncomfy on the tootsies, the water was cold (colder than Maine cold), and the wind was insane. I understand the draw, but at the same time, both Mike and I agreed that we have been to nicer beaches. I honestly feel guilty writing this as we have been awestruck by NZ in every way, but alas, no one is perfect 😉

  We were really happy we chose the full day catamaran as we were able to see all the different beaches and secluded coves (yachts anchored and all); see Split Apple Rock, the most photographed rock in all of NZ; saw a ton of seals, and got the peaceful experience of sailing through the islands.

 One aspect to this experience is that while the temp was 74 it felt like mid-60’s+wind chill. We made it in the morning without having to put on our windbreakers, but by the afternoon it was a must have. We had fun riding on the trampoline and getting a light ocean spray on occasion. The afternoon? Mike and I were happily sitting on one of the hulls with our feet hanging out and out of nowhere we got absolutely drenched. Thank goodness we are quick reactors because while my hair was dripping wet and the water poured through my jacket. I immediately grabbed the big camera and got it out of its now drenched case. 1. I am relieved the camera was in the case 2. It was put away in the backpack and under the hull for the rest of the trip. Mike’s iPhone needed a good drying off, but all was ok.

 It was so much fun and the wind and waves made it all the better. There were a few hats lost overboard (thankfully Mike’s favorite hat of 12 years was not one of them!), but everyone really seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I even got the chance to drive for a bit! Steering was much more difficult than I expected so I give all the credit in the world to our captain, Matt, for keeping our trip so smooth.

 This was such a great test run for what we have planned in Australia, but you will have to wait until next week 🙂

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