Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

New Zealand Cruiser’s Christmas eve cheer -with new found friends – dinghy raft in Roberton’s Bay of Islands.  Santas hats & leis.

Cruisers Christmas on the beach in New Zealand…. 

Even though Dave was the only one with an umbrella,
the rain didn’t dampen our spirits.

What you do when you’re far from home, friends and family with a bunch of other fine folks literally in the same boat – well – anchorage.  There were a tad less than twenty of us in the anchorage, most, like us, crossed the Pacific this year.

Christmas eve we toasted each other happy holidays in a dinghy raft (a bunch of dinghies tied together) in Roberton (aka Motuarohia).  Nibblies were passed around with the sips, and good cheer was had by all despite the cold and the rain.  Santa caps and leis added to the festive mood.

Christmas potluck on Roberton beach — a true New Zealand feast!

Yes, it’s summer time in theory in New Zealand, though most nights dip into the 50s and 60s (no heater on our boat – brrr) and warm days reach the 70s.  

Miraculously, this year’s upside down (Southern Hemisphere) Christmas day gifted us the most perfect weather since we arrived in New Zealand a little over a month ago.  The sun shone, the winds were mostly light, requiring only an anchor on one side to keep the tented potluck pavilion from taking flight.

The potluck spread was amazing!  Lasagna with fresh tomatoes and basil, home-made noodles and little meatballs — freshest-tasting I’ve ever eaten — and paella were the favorites.  Not my traditional Christmas fare — what a treat!  

Eve (in the boa hat) brought the traditional turkey,
proffered by Maca and Jan of Phoebe.

Eve on Auntie stripped her oven, thawed the tiniest turkey she could find, pounded it a bit flatter and managed to cook it despite minuscule size of her (and most)  boat ovens.

Brad wears Eve’s boa well — everything’s better with beer!

Appropriately enough, we ate under a Kiwi Christmas tree, naturally decorated in bright red blossoms.

David of Rewa shared his “new toy,” a drone to take aerial photos of the event.  It worked beautifully until a gust of wind or slip of the finger converted it into an unintentional weed-whacker.  Fingers crossed David can find the parts to fix it soon.

Slim Sasha wears Eve’s boa around her waist.


Hardly, at least by most American Christmas standards.


Definitely!  Thank you, my fellow cruising new found friends for all your good cheer.

May all your Christmases be as filled with wonderful surprises and the warmth of good people, old or new friends and family if you’re lucky enough to be in the same place.

Another spectacular sunset, perfect for Christmas,
Roberton Island New Zealand.

Location Location
This Christmas was celebrated on New Zealand’s Roberton (aka Motuarohia) in the Bay of Islands (S35.14.120 E174.10.094).  We’re currently enjoying some beach days back at Waitata Bay (S35.15.355 E174.08.02), less than 2 miles from Roberton, just over the hill from Russell.

Cruising by the Numbers
Between December 2014 and November 21 2015 we sailed over 10,000 miles from Jacksonville Florida USA to Opua New Zealand.  We’re in New Zealand until cyclone season ends, in May 2016.