Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas - Meri Kirihimete!

From the Crew of Malachi to all of our family and friends.

The pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) with its crimson flower has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition. This iconic Kiwi Christmas tree, which often features on greeting cards and in poems and songs, has become an important symbol for New Zealanders at home and abroad.

We have been busy getting ready for Christmas here in Auckland and are all excited for the holidays. Auckland is very similar to Vancouver, actually and interestingly enough, we are currently in a marina on the North Shore. There is a passenger ferry that runs between the North Shore and Downtown, much like the seabus and once you disembark at the ferry building downtown, Queens, the main street is right there, just like Granville St. And, much like Granville St. Queens St. is filled with the popular chain stores, book stores and souvenir shops, even movie theatres, cafe's and shopping malls.

Unlike Vancouver, the bay is always buzzing with a plethora of sailboats and on any given day, we can watch the America's cup boats sailing by. On that note, the Americas Cup qualifier - the Lous Vitton Cup, takes place at the end of January and the cities marinas will be fully booked for this exciting event.

Jay's mom arrived on the 17th after almost two days of travelling and has returned to the cruising lifestyle as though she'd never been away from it.

The view from our marina.

Yesterday, we went up the Skytower, at 328 meteres, it is the tallest tower in the Southern hemisphere, 12 largest in the world, and we enjoyed a panoramic view 80km in every direction, it was breathtaking! The tower, which took just under 3 years to build, wieghs 21 million kilos, about the same as 6000 elephants!

The lights at many downtown intersections, like this one, stop traffic in all directions so than pedestrians can cross any way the wish.

Although we all really wanted to bungy jump off the top of the tower or walk outside around the perimeter we settled for the indoor view and a picture with Santa.

We've been attending Harbourside Church in Takapuna, just a 10 minute drive from the marina. This is a vibrant and exciting church and we really enjoyed the Christmas Carol service that was presented on Sunday rather than on Christmas eve. The whole production was excellent and the music outstanding.

Maya & Kyle at the pre-carol service activities for kids.

The grand finale of the carol service.

We will be celebrating Christmas morning on board Malachi and will join with O'vive and Orca III for a potluck Christmas Dinner on the 25th.

1 comment:

Marlene Sherwin said...

Merry Christmas everyone and a happy New Year. We loved auckland too. We stayed at the Sky city hotel. have you been up to Mt Eden for the great view and watch the cows professionally mowing the lawns.If you get a chance go to the Kelly Trenton underwater world. Board the snow cat for a fun ride. Give Laura a hug for us. Sherri and twins come to us Jan 8