Tuesday, 6 Feb -- Waitangi Day, and All Aboard!

This three-day stay in Auckland has been a real pleasure and a good way to adjust our body clocks to NZ time. The area is beautiful, just as we'd been told to expect in this country. Prosperity is evident everywhere, from the redevelopment in downtown Auckland, to the huge building projects in the suburbs and the flourishing wine industry farther north. Now, as the country celebrates the signing of the treaty that is still the basis of this country's relationship with the Maori, we're looking forward to boarding the SS Navigator and exploring more of the country.
From the bus on the way to the port, we watched someone bungee jump from the City Tower. To our relief, it was not a free-fall jump, but rather quite controlled.
We were made very welcome aboard the Navigator, greeted with champagne, served lunch on the pool deck and shown the features of our suite by Abigail, our stewardess. A chilled bottle of champagne and a fruit tray awaited us in the suite.
Lifeboat drilll is a necessary start to every cruise and this one was pretty typical and straightforward.
At the sail-away party we were treated to a double rainbow -- for sure if we could have visited THAT house (the one right there) we'd have found 2 pots of gold! Dinner was delicious and the company (Ann, Gerard, Kay & Willie) hilarious. We tried to go the the show, but kept losing each other and ended up in the bar. A laugh-filled evening, boding well for the cruise.
Back in our suite, we stepped out onto the balcony and revelled in the sight of a billion brilliant stars.

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