A haunting sound

During the night of the cruise from the Bay of Islands to Tauranga I was woken around 2.00 am to the sound of the ship’s foghorn, which was set to sound every two minutes.
In the ‘old days’ of the 1960’s  when sailing in a cargo ship the officer of the watch would haul on a piece of rope when ever he thought he should, unless the ship was close to land or the captain was on the bridge.
The regular sound brought back memories of yesteryear.
The above link will take you to a foggy experience that I had in Hong Kong.

As we closed on Tauranga the fog became thinner and the foghorn was stopped. The above photograph shows the thinning as we approached our berth.


It rained as we moved alongside, but fortunately it stopped as we disembarked.

Our daughter-in-law parents live in Tauranga, and they were kind enough to show us around. The area where we berthed was Mount Maunganui and a walk along the main street reminded me of certain seaside towns in Australia.

It is a very popular a beach suburb with great beaches for surfing along Marine Parade.

We sailed from Tauranga later afternoon for the South Pacific Ocean and and a night of cruising before entering Auckland harbour. As usual the evening meal took precedence over gazing across the evening ocean.

We slid quietly into Auckland and moored next to the Hilton Hotel. On stepping onto our balcony, I received quite a surprise.

At first I thought the building was part of the port authority building until I noticed the name of Hilton, which is not too clear on the photograph taken from the balcony.

The view directly from our balcony as we overlooked the private balconies of the Princess Wharf Apartments.

The Hilton Hotel from the water – picture from the Hilton web site.

We also had company of the port side of the Majestic Princess – the Silver Whisper, which is a Silversea Cruise ship

A better picture than mine – Silver Whisper alongside in Sydney, unfortunately I cannot afford to sail in a Silversea vessel.

It was a short walk from Majestic Princess to Quay Street.

During our last visit to Auckland we had experienced the Hop on Hop off bus, so this time, we thought a DIY stroll around the shopping centre. 

The streets were quiet, but the ‘feel’ of the area was very positive.

The buildings were a mix of old and new, the ship that can be seen is the Silver Whisper.

Even though it was Sunday many of the shops were open, so passengers off the ship were able to buy what they required.
We bought some small items, and we did not have a problem using my credit card for low-cost items, much easier than changing Australian cash for New Zealand cash.

The weather was very kind to us after the two previous ports of call and it was a pleasure to walk around without an umbrella or a raincoat ‘just in case’.

Sky Tower


Sky Tower, Auckland.
Picture from the web

328 metres (1,076 feet) high – the tallest free standing structure in the southern hemisphere. The Observation platform is on level 51 at 186 metres, and above this level is the Skydeck at level 60 – The Sugar Club level 53, and orbit dining at level 52.
The cost at NZ$23 per person was much cheaper than the rate to visit the Dubai tower, which was hundreds of dollars.


The fast ride to the top of the Auckland tower did not cause my ears to ‘pop’ nor did I have to yawn. In the corner of the lift they had a glass panel where you could watch street level fall away as we sped to the 51 st floor.

dsc07690rI used the zoom on my camera to take our ship alongside, so the zoom has negated the height.


dsc07698r Sample views from various windows.


Auckland bridge off which you can bungee jump. It is illegal to jump off the Sydney Harbour bridge, with or without an elastic band tied to your body.

Had to use the zoom to get the above photograph of Mt Wellington Park (the green bit in the middle). Maureen and I last visited this park in 1966 when I was 3rd Mate on a ship trading around the NZ coast to / from Calcutta in India.
Maureen flew from the UK to Melbourne for a holiday (she worked for BOAC), and then flew over to Auckland to see me for two days while we worked cargo.
It took me some time to locate the park from the tower, even with help of the small maps indicating various places of interest.
We married in 1969 and yesterday (22nd Feb) celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary, so I had to find Wellington Park!


The church and the gardens seemed to make a nice picture, but now I can’t remember the name of the area.


Anybody for a game of Scalextric – if you can remember this toy you’re older than I thought  . .

dsc07713rI took many more pictures, but the above are just a few samples, the green tinge is due to the filter on the windows.

They also use the tower for bungee jumping, called Skyjump , and you can walk around the tower on the outside secured to the building with a harness, called Skywalk  – we didn’t do either. Check the Skywalk link, and then remember they paid for the privilege.

dsc07696rThe view down to where the bungee jumper lands.


The jumpers jump from above the observation area and as you see we all had our cameras ready, and even though we had a countdown from 4 minutes, the jumper passed the window so fast I couldn’t press the camera button face enough.

This was as close as I was willing to go to experience bungee jumping in Auckland.


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