When we flew out, Clare and Iain had done a lot of work on True. We had a couple of weekends sailing together, then Dairne and I went off for 3 weeks on our own.
Our cruise took us northwards the the Bay of Islands and back again. In that time we managed to assist with quite a few issues including
(1) Identifying why the Aries self steering gear was not working. We had to modify a few bits after we got back, but it is now functioning perfectly
(2) Getting the SSB radio to work (I had done the Long Range Certificate course in UK before we left). With some help from Russell Radio we had a lot of success, including getting Weatherfax data. We got weather from Wellington and Australia. It was great fun talking to Russell Radio each evening as we worked down the coast, and getting time signals from Hawaii.
(3) Initial experiments with Semco to improve the teak
(4) Importing a Bravo II electric dinghy pump and working out a usable deck stowage for the dinghy
All in all we had a great time.
This time we had booked a business class package, which included some accommodation nights, so we made a tour southward (including visiting friends in Rotorua) exploring Lake Tarawera, the site of a major volcanic explosion many years ago. The crater left when the side of the mountain blew off is clearly visible 10 miles away. We then looped round to Hawkes Bay and out to East Head, which is at 178 degrees East, almost diametrically opposite Greenwich!
Finally we had a few days based in a motel near Keri Keri on the Bay of Islands, from which we were able to explore Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand. All these trips added to our understanding of this beautiful country and its history.