family cruising

Stopover on the other side of the world... New Zealand (part 1)

Published on 01 june 2016 at 0h00

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Whangarei is the biggest town in Northland (around 50,000 inhabitants). On the Town Basin Marina pontoon, the marina manager himself, Brian Caulton, took our lines. We are not used to this, back home. Service above all, and with a smile. This was our first impression, on setting foot in New Zealand: the locals are pleasant, kind, friendly. We were tied up for a few days in the very heart of the town, after our passage from Tonga. We noticed cars, grandmothers taking their grandchildren for a walk, strapping men wearing farmer's hats drinking Red Lion on the terrace of a caf_, Japanese car dealerships, and shops. Barbara and the kids were fascinated. Let loose in the town, eager to run around, like dogs that have been kept on a lead for too long in the relative destitution of the basic little grocers in the Pacific islands. Note that I was not the last person to appreciate this new-found abundance, for a while. The notion of happiness, in its material aspect, is without a doubt relative. Take away the possibility of comparison, and you would have difficulty appreciating it. A long term voyage leads you to seek a frugality with which you are happy. We must voyage, therefore. Voyage, like a moral requirement for personal salubrity. The voyage helps to put things in their place, and keep them there.
But for the moment, after several months of relative gastronomic deprivation (or rather monotony) in the Pacific islands, our voyage turned for once towards alimentary ...

This article appeared in issue 148. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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