Two posts ago, I’ve said that Opua was my last destination in New Zealand. Well, it looks like it won’t.
I discovered that Opua, is not really a town, just a marina with a coffee, a laundry and heaps of Boat engineering and spare parts shops. The first day, I decided to have a coffee and start to connect with locals to know where is the best to advertise to find a boat.
Best places to advertise in a port to find a boat:
- Cruising club
- Marina office
- Boat yards, when they have a notice board
Well, the best option stays to walk around and connect personally with boats owners. Here, you are the product available now and you have to spread the word all around. It’s like selling door to door. I never really did that and I’m not really confident about it but hey, there is a time you have to create your luck. You can’t expect to meet someone by staying sit on your bum.
Today I’ve met Simon who is looking for a sailing boat to Australia as well. We spent an hour speaking about our experience and plans. He is working as an engineer in permaculture and sustainability. He is mainly going to different schools teaching the young generation how to be responsible with natural resources. He got a local contact, friend of a friend. They came to pick him up after an hour to go to Kerikeri.
Then, while I was working on a client’s website, Sanne came and asked me if I was looking for a boat as well. She wants to go to Australia. We decided to go asking together boats owner in the Marina. We’ve met some cool sailors but no one got room for us or even just one of us.
This evening I have a meeting with Beth. She is a friend of Rian and Chrissi from the Cell Block Backpackers where I stayed in Whangarei. They gave me her number as she is working and living in Opua so she might know someone. While waiting for her, I’ve met Damien a French guy that I already met while I was living in Wanaka. He found a spot on a boat to Fiji. At 5 we all headed up to the cruising club to meet sailors during the happy hour.
The owners of the boat where Damien is staying are ok to give me a ride with my bicycle. It’s a really nice boat but I don’t really feel it with the owners and in the end they asked me $750 to sail to Fiji. I didn’t accept their offer. That night, Sanne’s friend who was supposed to host her in his van didn’t come so she had to find another solution. We gonna camp together not far from town by the cycle trail. She will sleep in my tent and I will sleep in my hammock. I4ve set up the hammock between two trees in the mangrove and at night when the tide came up I was literrally sleeping over the water. It was stunning. There is a lot of bioluminescent plancton here and as fishes were eating them underneath my hammock it was sparkling green light everywhere!
The day after Sanne decided to head back to Whangarei and gave me the contact of a sailor going to Australia who might be interested to take my bike and me on board. I’ll stay a second day in Opua then if nothing head back to Whangarei as well as I felt that I can’t do much more in this area and I feel that I missed something in Whangarei.
Second night in Opua, I met some cool local people but no one plans to sail out. I finally met Beth again and we drank some beers at the boat yard. We took some photographs of the stars and finally went to her boyfriend’s brother in law’s boat where I’ve been invited to stay for the night. Really cool people!
In the morning I’ll head back to Whangarei to meet Fred, the sailor who can take my bike and me on board to Australia…