Our feet have hardly touched the ground since we arrived home – life has been a whirlwind of social events, gardening, unpacking and trying to settle into a land based life. Before we arrived home in mid November, we had every intention of living on Bandit. But our first two nights in the Sounds changed that – it was so cold and windy and our tropical toned, tanned and tuned bodies simply couldn’t handle it. So into our vineyard cottage with plenty of heaters and blankets!
Our arrival into Queen Charlotte Sound was marked with blustery winds up to 40 knots, low cloud and mist and rain. But the next day dawned fine and it was wonderful to have our good friends Alastair and Dinny Shanks on their lovely yacht Skara Brae come out to meet us. Skara Brae was full of friends and family and we had a lovely day on a mooring in Kumatoto Bay drinking bubbly, eating lunch and having a great catch up. Well wrapped up in winter clothes I might add.
All too soon the euphoria of arriving home had faded and we were brought down to earth with a bump – time to fill in the days by gardening, mowing lawns and working in the vineyard. Oh and taking a mountain of stuff off Bandit accumulated during our eight years of cruising (Turkish rugs, Moroccan tagines, Sardinian platters, Cuban cigars, rum etc). We’ve also had plenty of catch ups with friends and family. The skipper turned 60 and, as it marked a bit of a milestone we had two celebrations – a family lunch in Nelson and then a get together with about 50 close friends in Blenheim. These things have helped keep us busy and not think too much about cruising. We’re hoping the weather will warm up soon and let us get out in the Sounds. Problem is, we’ve become so used to the warmth that going out in anything less than tropical temperatures just does not appeal!