Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Home Sweet Home

We flew home to Victoria BC on December 2nd to visit family and friends, do many errands, attend to some business, and buy a lot of things that we can't get or are too expensive in New Zealand. It was chilly when we left New Zealand but it was definitely colder up north!

I left Victoria to fly to Calgary AB to visit my son. From there, I went to Drumheller AB to see my parents where it was -26°C! My daughter, her boyfriend, and my great-granddaughter came to Drumheller to visit for a few days and then I went back to Victoria. (Here is my adorable great-granddaughter thrilled at all of the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Drumheller.)

Such a cutie!

Jordan and I attended a Bluewater Cruising Association meeting where we were presented with an Offshore Award for completing an offshore voyage of 999 nautical miles or more. This award was for our passage to Easter Island, one that not many sailors do. (We also completed 3 other passages of over 999 NM: from Easter Island to Chile, Chile to Galapagos, and Galapagos to Marquesas.)


The small brass plaque on the right, Coastal Award, was for harbour-hopping down the coast and the silver plaque, Offshore Award, was for an offshore voyage but as crew when we sailed with SV Tango from Mexico to Marquesas (the current award for crew now states 'crew' on the award). I see that the new plaque is a lot shinier - time to get out the polish!

After that, our days were filled with constantly running errands and fitting in some time to visit more family and friends, including a quick trip to Penticton BC to see Jordan's parents and to Kelowna BC to see my sister and husband.

Next was a 6-day business trip with Jordan's son Aaron to Phoenix AZ in the States where their weather was a record breaking cold! Seems like we just can't shake this cold weather. But even business trips have time for a bit of fun. We spent a day at the week-long Barret-Jackson World's Greatest Collector Car Auction premier annual event. With a record-setting attendance, over 1,300 cars were auctioned, the most notable being the original 1966 Batmobile that brought over $4 million!

Batmobile photo from the internet

We attended our first ever pro-basketball game between the Phoenix Suns and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The home team lost.

Jordan with son Aaron at game

Once business was done in Phoenix and after being away from Sea Turtle for 6 weeks, it was high time to get back. So it was a short flight to San Francisco and a long overnight flight to Auckland New Zealand.

We had a bit of an incident at Customs upon arrival. We had forgotten that we had a banana in our luggage and didn't declare it as is required. They spotted it in the x-ray machine and took us aside for questioning, a reprimand, and a $400 fine! Welcome to New Zealand?