New year (2)

Spinnaker with stars at dusk just before sunrise

Arriving at the south island

A view to the Marlborough sounds

Welcoming at south island by a seal right at our boat

Early morning at our anchorage yesterday

A seal taking his morning bath

Our first anchorage at the South Island, Tonga query, Tonga Island in the background on the left

Typical hiking

View from a lodge in the bush where we had morning coffee

New Year

It is time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the year 2014, which started and ended for me in New Zealand. One year ago it was short before my trip home to LA and Munich, now it's at the beginning of the trip around the south island of New Zealand. Both full of excitement. I have enjoyed each and every day of my time so far in New Zealand, especially this year. During the time since my friend and her boyfriend came 2 weeks ago we have seen such a diverse nature, met lovely people (not only our friends but also complete strangers), saw and heard beautiful wildlife (dolphins, penguins, seals, birds…), did amazing hikes, had great food, relaxed, had wonderful sailing (and motoring ;-)….the list goes on forever. Nature changes between rainforest, europe and south sea with the most beautiful beaches I have seen on this whole trip. Everyday I fall more in love with New Zealand, especially while exploring it from the sea. It is hard to express my feelings of happiness and joy that I have here: about our wonderful Kiwi friends, other sailor friends, local people (who even escort us out of a bay by playing the trumpet) and all that I have written above. 
So it comes at no big surprise that I am looking forward to an exciting 2015 with 5 more months in Kiwi-land and the exciting and challenging trip down south into the storm area. Also I am very much looking forward to sailing to Australia - a continent which I already have visited for a month and fell in love with over 20 years ago. And in-between: photo shooting with Alita in front of an active volcano in Vanuatu. These for sure will be my personal highlights. 

I wish you all a good start into a healthy and exciting New Year. May you come a step closer to your dreams!


Here are some pictures of the last 2 weeks. You find all the pictures online at

Rounding Cape Reinga!

A sand dune flowing into the water just like a glacier in Patagonia. This is at Cape Reinga, already in the Tasman Sea

Alita in Hokianga Harbour - the only sailboat by far, a real attraction for the locals, who very rarely see a sailor come in over the sandbank, a very dangerous entry. In the background you can see the sand dune which we walked up to the very top and then jumped down. Soo much fun….

New Zealand's biggest Kauri tree

…and the four sisters

…and the second largest Kauri tree

View over the Waipoua National Reserve where you find the most Kauri trees

Alita in Hokianga harbor

Found in the countryside at a gas station:

Alex' farewell - so special! Thanks Alex!


Safely arrived in Tonga...

Ahhh, well, no. At Tonga yes. Tonga Island, where seals live, is right in front of us. One seal greated us as we arrived. Underway today we saw 2 whales: a fin of one just behind the boat and a couple of huge blows far away.
So where are we? Tonga Island in Golden Bay, South Island New Zealand. We sucessfully crossed the cooks strait. Ah, for my dear friend Mary: we sailed the Tasman Sea down on the westcoast of the northern island wirh the SPINNAKER up for one day. Then we had to take it down because of no wind, meaning we motored for one more day. Only crossing of Cooks Strait did we have wind and wave- where nothing was predicted.
Pictures follow soon.


On our way south

Just a short notice: we spent last night in Hokianga, met up with Alex (the wonderful guy whom we met in Whangaroa hiking the hill), had him over for dinner last night and he took us for a drive to the Kauri trees today. What a lovely time we had. The coolest thing: Alex is musician, plays Violin, Bratsche, Guitar AND trumpet. He has a little trumpet in a small suitcase that he carries with him most of the time. This was our welcoming and farewell signal. When he was at the pier yesterday ready to be picked up by Dinghy he played the trumpet, on our boat last night he played a song AND, best of all, today as we left Hokianga harbor he stood at the edge at the cliff and played a farewell for us. I will write more soon. Now we're on our way south. Unfortunately there will be two bad weather days next week which causes us not being able to stop in New Plymouth. SO, against our original plan, we're now on our direct way south, to Picton in the Marlborough Sounds on the Northern Island.

So long, we're on our way for the next 2,5-3 days. My memory of this experience here with a wonderful person we met just being out and who had so many stories and knowledge about New Zealand to share will be with me.



Merry christmas

While I should be in the mood for christmas I am in the happy mood of nature exploring and just loving life -and New Zealand. No matter where we go and anchor in remote places, there is always a hiking trail. On islands, in bays everywhere. Two days ago we started to go north from the Bay of Islands, stayed over night at a wonderful island (Cavalli islands, where the „Rainbow warrior", a ship from Greenpeace has been sunk to make a diving attraction in very cold water) and ended up in one of the bays in the water arm which leads to Whangaroa. Such a beautiful area - and great hiking. Today our goal was the top of the mountain here, which looks like a head. The last 50m of hight have to be climbed up along a chain - at an inclination of 80° and only some small rocks to step on. We all made it and the view was absolutely stunning. What was most enjoyable was that during our way up a guy, Alex, played his trumpet on the very top (he had already played it in the morning and it sounded great with all the echo here). We met him on top and then later down at the cabin that can be rented - we ende up being given 2 fresh Red Snappers, which we had for dinner. We just keep meeting the most lovely people! All four of us just enjoy our time, with daily sailing (except for today) and hiking and swimming (Patrick and I). Patrick and I even went snorkeling yesterday, despite the water being really cold there (16-17 degrees centigrade)…

Merry christmas to you all. We already had a wonderful christmas evening here with „Plätzchen" (cookies) and duck. 



Alita design

Ready for my friends

Tomorrow my friends are coming for 3.5 weeks to spend with us. Just in time we finished our work. Behind me are 10 days of sewing, almost full days. Cushions, pillowscases, bean bag and a big shoe box for outside in the cockpit. And some small stuff. All looks so nice now, one design in our boat. We love it!!! So worthwhile all the work.