New Zealand North Island Log
The sun shines in between rain showers with an intensity that only an ozone hole can cause. It is
Christmas in New Zealand, a time for flowering trees, beach houses, Christmas cake, scallop
hunting and raging testosterone. Yes, I said testosterone. Granted, I can only spell it thanks to the
good graces of a spell checker, nevertheless, that is what fills the air.

Wandering through the tree fern filled bush my attention is drawn to a pair of bluish birds. They
have a single tuft of bright white feathers at the base of their throats. Actually, it is very much the
same kind of look as a middle aged man wearing a goatee. The birds, called Tuis, waggle their
tufts in the hopes of attracting female attention. Again, very much like a middle aged man with a
goatee.

The real stud of the forest is the sparrow like fantail. This diminutive little bird hops from branch to
branch, spreading his tail feathers like, well fine, fans. In a desperate semaphore his wings plead,
"I....want...sex...NOW." One of these feathery balls of desperation spent an inordinate amount of
time posturing in front of me. I think he became confused in his mating frenzy and propositioned
me. However, I'm not sure, tail feather is so hard to interpret.

Once you escape the forest singles scene and head toward civilization you may encounter the
dreaded Christmas cake. Christmas cake is like American fruitcake with the added benefit of a
thick, white, rubbery frosting on the outside hiding the heavy darkness inside. They stalk you like
sharks, circling ever closer threatening you with their dried fruit bits. Innocent diners flee screaming
in terror when the postprandial horror is presented.

Okay, okay I confess. Never actually having tried Christmas cake, I may not be fully appreciative of
its theoretical sticky goodness. I suppose it could be tasty in an overly sweet kid cereal kind of way.
However, addressing my fruitcakeophobia is not high on my list of self-help projects.

Richard and I are presently in drydock. No, it is not an attempt to flee bird and cake oddities. It
means we have lifted our helpless little home high into the air and placed her on blocks in order to
"improve" her. Yes, like a women in a hair salon for the full works.

Once we raise her. We then start work. We sand, paint, pull engines and generally get dirty and
banged up. Blood seems to be an integral part of the process. So much so that the project may be
doomed to fail if there is no bloodletting.

The real joy is that since we are out of the water, we have no toilets. Yes, I have discovered the
wonders of a chamberpot. I know, how very medieval of me.

Soon we will splash down and get ready to head to the US for a bit. When we return to New
Zealand we plan on puttering down to the South Island and then get ready for next years foray to
Fiji.

Until I carve out more time
Jen