Thick fog blanketed the Bay of Islands early on 16th March, but it lifted to reveal a glassy, calm day – perfect for a group of residents of the local rest home, Radius Baycare, to experience a day in the Bay of Islands with Darryl’s Dinner Cruises.
The Pahia rest home had fundraised for this trip with a 2021 ‘Pandemic’ calendar. Each month displayed a different resident’s life experience which they related to the emotional atmosphere of the Covid-19 restrictions. It was illustrated beautifully by staff member Tommi Skippage.
However, when anonymous sponsors heard about the boat trip, they generously offered to cover the cost of the boat cruise – telling the residents to put the fundraising towards another adventure in the future.
The boat picked the residents up at Waitangi. It had easy access for wheelchairs, so the residents were all aboard in no time. As the day was so calm, Darryl decided to cruise up the harbour towards Opua, then follow the coastline around to Russell and back to Waitangi. After a cup of tea, the residents all relaxed into their special cruise.
Darryl was an excellent host, as well as providing the lunch, he would stop the boat and ring the bell, then share a little bit of history about the different bays they called into.
The team set a fishing lure out the back of the boat and managed to catch one little Kahawai. It was too small, so they let it go. One keen fisherwoman decided that the fishing line needed attention and she hung onto the line for the rest of the trip.
The boat trip happened to be on the same day as Race nine and ten of the America’s Cup. So the residents sprinkled good luck on the waters where Blair Tuke, who learnt to sail with the Kerikeri Cruising Club, began his sailing career.
Blair Tuke and Peter Burling love to practise for their Olympic Regattas in Northland – the residents saw why with a little taste of what makes this region so special.
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For more information:
Anyone interested in buying a copy of the Pandemic calendar can call the rest home on 09 402 7112 and they’ll organise a copy to be sent to your address.