Armed with supplies, we jet down to the harbor to bean bags and a full size mattress on deck. The weather is perfect - one of those rare Wellington days with barely there wind and constant sunshine. After mooring in a cove on Somes, another boat anchors next to us. Armed with a dingy and donuts, our visitors receive a very warm welcome. These donuts bring me back to the churro truck in Costa Rica. Absolutely covered in sugar, my fingerprints were clear as the butter pooled around them (Paula Deen would approve).
As the sun begins to set, there is a mad scramble to our full size mattress, where we sleep 8 deep. I become quickly acquainted with my snuggle buddies as we settle down to a sky full of stars and a waxing moon.
"Is there a party happening on Somes?" "Nope, those are the birds." The island residents, red fronted parakeets, robins, tuataras, and four other species of lizards, took turns in the trading of melodies. All night long. One group begins...then silence; following, a refrain from members of the other bird and lizard families surrounding. In my entire life, I have never heard such overwhelming songs - songs that make me question whether or not there are subwoofers hidden on the island somewhere.
The sun slowly begins it's rise over the horizon a few hours later, and we awake to a light breeze and the sound of the water splashing the cove twenty feet in front of us. Everyone on the boat but me jumped into the icy water - my reticence well founded after the shivering chaps wrapped up in towels and blankets trying to shake the cold. (One day, I will be less of a sissy...) Warm hot cross buns and tea were circulated as we begin to think about heading back into Wellington Harbor. An hour passes, and we continue to lay on deck, trading comments about how incredibly happy we are to be here; and I am. Beautiful days in Wellington will do that to a person. They make you forget about the foul wind, sideways rain, and freezing southerlies that you curse on the in between days. New Zealand is refreshing me, and helping me to slake off the DC cynicism and frustration that settled in like a cumulus cloud. On a run yesterday morning out of town, I could feel the energy of the ocean. I wondered "how did I ever live without this?" To be honest, I don't know that I ever want to again. The future is up in the air, but I know that New Zealand might certainly be a part of it. Stay tuned!