Visits with Friends and Kiwi Birds

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We continued to visit with our cruising friends whose boats were in Whangarei, and we enjoyed the Ocean Cruising Club BBQ get together, during which an OCC award was presented to six-time circumnavigator Web Chiles.

Our long-time friend, Eva Brown, now living in Nelson, NZ, visited the town of Russell in the Bay of Islands, where we were neighbors for six years. Eva looks wonderful. Her face is bright and she is energetic and cheerful. Dorothy joined her for a day and, just like old times, walked with Eva through Russell, and up some lanes she had never seen. It was a very enjoyable reunion. We visited our mutual friend, Heather Lindauer, then Clifford Whiting, New Zealand’s most famous Maori wood carver and teacher, and Murphy Shortland, who did the historical research for place names on the IPIPIRI map that Denis Brown drew and painted.

Heather Lindauer looks bright and healthy. She brought me up to date on the St Johns Ambulance group. Heather told us about the current exhibition of 40 portraits of Maori chiefs and their wives being displayed in Berlin. The portraits were painted by an ancestor of Heather’s late husband, Linty. The portraits had been cleaned and restored by an expert, and it is the first time the 40 portraits have been out of New Zealand. Eva and I browsed through the catalog from the exhibit, with Heather telling us about each chief. Some were peacemakers; some were great warriors. The portraits are a New Zealand treasure that, when not traveling, are on display at the Auckland Memorial Museum.

Our friend Anne from the catamaran THREE SIXTY BLUE and her nephew, Ian, arranged a private visit to the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre. Robert, the founder of the centre, took us on an extensive tour and introduced us to two Kiwi birds, one that he takes to schools to introduce to children, and a younger Kiwi that had been rescued. Normally nocturnal, these Kiwi birds were habituated to daylight, allowed us to pet them, and to photograph them poking their long beaks into the grass to catch worms that they located beneath the soil with their hearing.

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