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    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Whitianga Marina - Yea! great to see you-The Stunned Mullet, Knocked us out.

    There are 3 sofas on this boat. The Skipper. The Bosun and the Communicator. Some people double as cooks and bottle washers1
    At this stage (below) The Communicator is probably on Book 6 from the library.

    After a very jobbly night in New Chums beach and with increasing bad weather on its way, we left very early in the morning. Of course we were on Day 2 of no Gas, which translates to no hot food or drinks.
    Luckily the pantry and the fridge were full of goodies but getting very low on the Carbs. Lots of dairy and vege though.
    So no breakfast or hot drink in the tummies, but anyway we took off. The wind increased quite quickly and before long was reaching it's forecast 30 - 35 knots gusting 40. The reach wasn't bad but we once again had those side on seas. The Skipper was tidying up sheets on deck.
    It was reasonably comfortable but we were all getting a little was needed for the blood sugar.
    Ms Lana remembered The Gingernuts, within seconds it was a different crew.
    The approaches to Whitianga were dull, to say the least in this weather. And after a few phone calls to Darryl our trusty Marina Manager, we had a Marina. The Skipper beautifully navigated us into it, in reverse not easy on this boat... and within a reasonably short time we were tied up. Of course it was now raining

    Not cold though
    Our neighbours were helpful and before long we were ready for lunch. Yea hot food.
    Of course first on the agenda after lunch. (Snapper on a Asparagus and Caper salad, washed down with a bottle of Tohu Sauv Blanc, from Squid on the Waterfront, nice, but a bit mingy!) was the acquisition of 2 portable gas burners from Mitre 10.
    Then off to the supermarket. Whitianga sports a very good New World but boy look at the queue.
    All those people down the left side are waiting in line to pay. Amazing, but apparently this is common. Locals either shop before 8am and after 6pm. Bloody holiday makers.
    Recognise the lady in pink? Dale then shot off and left us, with returning to the boat with the shopping. Too heavy for the girls. Solution, take the trolley back to the boat. We were saved there a nice family who were also on the Marina, took our trolley back for us. So kind.
    This was occasion for great mirth. The wind and the trolley got the better of me. I don't normally put spectacularly unflattering shots of me on 'My Blog' but the sight of this old bag lady pushing her trolley is probably a sight not to be missed! (Sigh)

    Opposite the New World was a wonderful bait and fish shop called "The Stunned Mullet"
    These guys run a great place. Everyday fresh fish, crays and scallops in season.Frozen shell fish too.
    Homesmoked fish, smoked mussels from Coromandel Smoke Company
    Lana spied 2 'just the right size crays'...for a princely sum of $72, she purchased them and home we went, very excited. They were still alive but like the Mullet, they were Stunned. Amazing what a cold fridge will do.
    So we set up one of our new burners and filled the pot with salty water
    Below our new burner. Fabulous.
    Ms Lana with her catch.

    First one out of the pot. Instructions from Ms Laurian Dixon who is our expert on cooking crays.
    Into boiling sea water but if you can't dip into the sea, otherwise very salty water
    Lid on cook for 8 minutes and out.

    Lana did a great job of extracting the meat. Not a skerrick was left in those shells. Just eaten simply with a tasty mayo and fresh bread
    The next day it was sunny but we didn't feel the urge to battle seas again. Who would want to leave this in a hurry?
    Plus my old friend Sandy (seen here with Dale on the dock) and her husband Pete, were coming for coffee. She brought fabulous freshly baked scones. Date and Lemon, with real butter. Divine.
    Pete is mine of knowledge of these parts. They now live here but I think they have spent a lot of time in Mercury Bay and surrounds for years.
    He had lots of good advice for us. Told with his wonderful dry sense of humour. It was great fun to see them both, it has been a while
    Now a word about Whitianga Marina. We were really impressed. It is situated right in town. Just walk down the dock and one is immediately transported into this lovely little holiday town. You have everything you want here. Good restaurants and Bars. The local library...Good New World. Good Mitre 10 and there's more.
    Sensational weather normally...except of course for the windy few days we have spent here. I am beginning to think it is us once again, to misquote Neil Finn 'Everywhere we go, we seem to take bad weather with us'. Can we break this curse?
    But yes maybe we can, how idyllic is this. The Skipper, resplendent in leopard skin budgie smugglers on the deck of the Good Ship Cajun Moon
    Another wonderful meal, 'Surf and Turf'... Steak from Nosh...Scallops from the Stunned Mullet, cooked with a little Pernod and butter, accompanied by New Jersey Benne Potatoes.All cooked on 1 burner!
    We ate this overlooking one of Whitianga's finest restaurant, Salt...who couldn't fit us in. So Bugger them
    They would be lucky to improve on that dinner... well, maybe the presentation could be improved
    But cheaper, I reckon with our own wine of choice. Can't get much better than that.
    Well, maybe this view, when we awoke this morning, could be better than that.
    Thank you Whitianga Marina, you are truly international. As good as any we experienced in Croatia and that was pretty good.

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