Summer in Auckland
Written by Cathy Siegismund
While the weather was not cooperating for America's Cup racing, we found lot
of other things to do. Most of these involved socializing with Jason and Tam and
Ed and Rachel, who were visiting, and other social events including a cruiser
potluck at the marina. There were also a few boys day's out that included go
cart racing and blow karting.
Rachel, Marc, Jason, Tam, Ed, Wendy & Garth at a very cozy
party aboard Felicity
Marina cat, Kimma, visiting us during an evening cocktail
party aboard Felicity
Ken and I also had found a local A & P show we attended about a 45 minute
drive from Auckland. An A &P show is an Agricultural and Pastoral show, akin to
a US county fair. We had been told this was a great place to experience a slice
of Kiwi farm life without having it spiffed and polished for tourists. We had a
great time and would agree with this recommendation.
Sheep dog trials
For more pictures see the A&P Show
After spending most of the day at the Helensville A & P show, Ken wanted to
drive out to the west coast to check out a potential blow kart beach. We knew
that Muriwai, on west coast, was not very far from Helensville, so we assumed
this other section of the west coast beach wouldn't be too far either. As we were
driving along a rather unpopulated section of the road, we saw what looked like
an older beagle sitting by the side of the road on a rather tight turn. The dog
didn't budge as we slowed and drove by. Concerned that the dog may be lost and
would be hit, we stopped. As soon as we did this, the dog ran
up to the car. She had a blue eye, we weren't sure if she may be blind in one
eye. She had a collar, but no tag. We now were worried she may have been dumped.
We decided to pick her up and drive around checking for her owners at the few
nearby houses we could find. As soon as we opened the car door, she leapt into
the front seat with very little encouragement, and sat at Ken's feet. She was
very cute. We drove up the side road where she had been sitting and only saw two
houses. The first had a locked gate and didn't look occupied. We stopped at the
second. A couple came out and said they had seen the dog a few times, but she
wasn't theirs and didn't know where she belonged. They did suggest we try down
across the road at the only other nearby house.
We drove down a long driveway and stopped in front of a house. I again
knocked on the door and this time found the dog's owners. Sapphire, named for
her blue and useful eye, was not known to wander, so they were rather surprised.
They thanked us for hunting them down and returning Sapphire, and in typical
Kiwi fashion asked us in for tea. We accepted. The Hills had a lovely home on
several acres of land with a beautiful view of the west coast. They were
probably in their 60's and were extremely interesting couple. We ended up
staying and talking with them for 3 or 4 hours. Mr. Hill had climbed Mount Cook
in the early 60's and Mrs. Hill was quite a talented artist who was currently
working on a series of paintings for a local city counsel. Talk soon turned to
the America's Cup, and Team New Zealand's chances with the team down 3-0. They
said they should have some insight as one of their son's worked on Team New
The following week Ken's step-sister Molly was in Auckland for a few days to
visit us before she flew back to the States. She had spent six weeks in New
Zealand in a university program finishing up her degree. She stayed on the boat
and we spent a couple of days showing her around Auckland.
The America's Cup was still on hold for weather, but we took her down to the
Viaduct Harbour and the syndicate's sheds.
Molly in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour
Molly giving Alinghi's bucking bow a try
Molly trying the grinders in the Telecom, a Team New Zealand
Cath and Molly on Prince's Wharf in front of the Amerigo
Cath and Molly trying out some very large lawn furniture at an art store in
We also took Molly to
Kelly Tarlton's a popular tourist attraction. It is a bit cheesy, but has
quite a bit of information on Antarctic expedition, gives you the chance to see
penguins King and Gentoo (the 2nd and 3rd largest species of penguins) quite
close, and has a decent aquarium where you walk through an acrylic tunnel and
view the sea life all around you.
Penguins at Kelly Tarlton's
Molly walking through the acrylic tunnel in the Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World
We also fit some shopping, dinners out, and a little pampering for Molly after
her six week stint on south island camping and sleeping in huts.
We had arranged our flight to South Island to be on the same day and at about
the same time she flew back to Seattle. We all shared a cab and we dropped her
off at the international terminal before we went to catch our flight for our
fourth trip to the South Island.