I really would have loved to spend much longer in the Bay of Islands - especially after we spent the morning cruising around some of the very pretty islands. My favourite place was Otehie Bay on the Island of Uropukapuka - so incredibly pretty and with the most amazing views. However, the very strong winds meant the swell was pretty high and certainly made for an interesting boat trip - and a few not-very-happy tummies (thankfully not mine!).
Back to Auckland and, after my sea kayaking experience, I wondered why on earth I'd signed myself up for the America's Cup Yachting experience. I'm definitely more of a land than sea girl but this just seemed an opportunity that would only come around once and one that I really shouldn't miss. And I have to say it was one of my better decisions - a truly exhilerating experience and one which I'll remember for a while. The racing yacht we were on - it sailed in the 1995 America's Cup - cut through the water incredibly quickly and, surprisingly, pretty smoothly. It did take me a little bit time to get used to the fact that you had to keep switching from one side of the yacht to the other and, in particular, to standing virtually vertical as it raced along. I have to admit I kept a pretty tight grip on the handrail the first few times we did this - not wanting to repeat my Bay of Islands experience of ending up in the water - I'm sure getting myself back into the yacht would not have been such an easy process as getting back into my kayak! It was great fun watching Stuart who was in his absolute element helping out as crew - he even got the opportunity to be at the helm. A kiddie in a sweetie shop!
Back on dry land, and after a well deserved G&T, we decided that the harbour would be a perfect place for our last supper in Auckland. We were lucky enought to get a table overlooking the harbour in a wonderful restaurant, Soul - which I'd definitely recommend. Fabulous food, gorgeous wine, great service in a stunning location. The perfect end to a truly memorable day.