Second chances

From tiny worms that light up in caves to the bright lights of a big city, we Escapees know how to have a good time. We were especially excited to catch up with friends Julie and Ken of Kia Ora whom we met, improbably, in Golfito, Costa Rica, and even older friends Sue and Mark on Macushla, whom we first met way back while still in the intercostal waterway in the US. Both couples were housesitting near Auckland. Hmmm, have we missed something here?

I’m sure, dear readers, you’ll remember that when we were last in Auckland, Escape Velocity was left at anchor in Waiheke Island while we took the ferry over for a whirlwind tour of the city. It was a great day but we missed a few things in the rush. Chief among them was the New Zealand Maritime Museum. 

This time we would not be denied. First we needed a room but Auckland can really book up and as luck would have it this was one of those nights. Marce had to resort to AirBnB for a semi-creepy stayover in someone’s frilly room featuring a plethora of flowery night lights with colored balloons. I had to unplug them all.

With Eggs Benedict nudging my belt we walked past the magnificent KZ1 America’s Cup boat on display just outside the entrance to the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Of course KZ1 lost but it certainly makes a statement. These Kiwis have really influenced sailing skills and innovative design the world over. 

It’s a given that one enters the museum via — all together now — the gift shop, then through the ubiquitous displays of ancient pirogues and ocean-going catamarans of the first immigrants to a small archipelago at the bottom of the then unknown world. An excellent video tribute to Sir Peter Blake, a large collection of in-water heritage sailing vessels and examples of just about every known type of sailboat awaits the nautically obsessed. Lots of fun for Yours Truly.


In the meantime Marce found an Ethiopian restaurant and lined up dinner with the Macushlas. We’d been enjoying all the Indian cuisine down here in New Zealand but this was our first Ethiopian meal since 2014 in Washington, DC, and we four old friends lingered at the restaurant until closing time, enjoying our last evening together for a while. To top it off Marce found a real room at a Best Western Motel. We’ll be back home on Escape Velocity tomorrow and it’s none too soon. This dirt life is exhausting!

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