Feb 14 - Valentine's Day

We all remembered today, didn't we? Wanting to do something special, we drove to the Puketi Forest, near Keri Keri, and walked amongst the kauri trees. The oldest kauri tree in the Puketi was about 500 years old, but the oldest one known in NZ was over 4000 years old, and extinct a long time ago. We enjoyed reading the Forest Service informational plaques and wondered at these beautiful trees which can grow so tall (up to 150') and had diameters up to 15'. We're happy to report that efforts are being made to save the kauri from extinction, and that wholesale cutting has been prohibited for many years. After our walk we drove to the nearby Ake Ake Vineyard & Restaurant for a late lunch. We can tell you from first hand experience that their wines are really good, and the meal we had was some of the best food we've had in New Zealand (we shared a delicious sirloin steak and bowl of green lipped mussels). We returned to the boat in the late afternoon to clouds and rain, as a trough is slowly settling into the North Island. What a fun day; we hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day as much as we did ours!

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