Couple sail world to live in Bay. |
TAURANGA'S kind cilmate. good salling and small population have prompted a Dutch couple to bid their homeland farewell and settle in the city. That's not so unusual these days - but the couple, Antje and Henk, made the trip in the 9.5 metre keel yacht "Gabber" (meaning my best friend!)
They arrived in Tauranga about a week ago and are berthed off-shore from Coronation Pier. Their voyage began on July 10, 1983, and took them through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific Ocean to land In the Bay of Islands on November 14 last year. In spite of the small size of the host, they had a relatively troublefree trip. "The worst time was when we were coming from Bora Bora in the Society Islanda to Rarotonga," Henk said in hesitant but clear English.
"There was a 63-knot wind. The whole boat was in vibrations and 50 were we." After five hours the worst of the storm paased and the yacht and traveliers emerged unacathed. Henk and Antje say that the Netherlands was becoming too crowded for them. "It was too busy, too crowded." said Antje. "There were too many peopie in a small country - wlth about 20 to 25 per cent unemployment in our area." The couple intend to settle permanently in Tauranga and are searching for jobs, a home and a car. Henk is a camera technician and hopes to set up a business.
Antje was a laboratory assistant in the Netherlands. She hopes to work here. "Good storles" about New Zealand attracted them South, but the couple admits the country is a little different from what they expected. "We were surprised to find home computers and microwaves in people's houses," sald Henk. "They are luxuries." Dutch people who had visited New Zealand and returned te Holland had given the impression that technology in New Zealand was many years behind that in the Netherlands. Antje also expected women's fashions in New Zealand to be rather behind the times. "It's not like that at all," she said. "The clothes here are modern." They have found New Zeslanders relaxed and helpfull.
In mei 2001 werd begonnen aan het rond maken van de wereldreis (groene lijn). Via New Caledonie, Thursday Island, Torres Straat, Bali, Christmas Island, Mauritius, Zuid-Afrika (zie kaart aan blad Zeilen dec. 2001), Sint Helena, Fernando de Noranha, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antiqua, Azoren, werd Europa op 11 juli 2002 bereikt met het binnenlopen van Falmouth. Op 25 augustus 2002 en na 19 jaar arriveerde de gabber weer in de "thuishaven" Ketelhaven.|