And again I have not posted while in NZ although plenty has happened since my last post in November. See the photographic evidence in the Gallery below:
Gaylyn and I have had a beautiful time, spending most of Summer in the Bay of Islands. My sister Dagmar dropped by for a 4 week visit in December and with her came Nadine, a friend from Germany who was travelling NZ at the same time. We had a great time sailing, hiking and hanging out in the Bay of Islands together. Nadine made good friends with Gaylyn’s cousin John’s lot and has an alternative family in New Zealand now. They were followed by Andree – a friend of Gaylyn’s from Australia who joined us for a week.
After that Gaylyn took off to promote her book – first in the South Island of NZ and later in Australia. She had plenty of fun touring the backpackers in New Zealand and doing newspaper and radio interviews in several places. She even walked into a local TV-station and managed to get an interview on TV. She is a real celebrity now.
Shortly after arriving we had started gathering all sorts of materials needed for a second attempt to get me NZ residency. We have always felt a bit uneasy about the fact that we have no common place to stay. Wherever we go one of us will have to leave after 3 to 6 months, so if one of us gets sick or needs to stay for other reasons we are in trouble.
In the first attempt in 2016 we rushed things a bit and ran out of time in the end, missing some documents that had to come in from Germany. This time we had it all sorted. My case officer – an Indian lady came back to me two weeks after handing in the application and asked for more proof of a genuine and stable relationship with Gaylyn. We handed in some more material and ended up sending a whole bunch of photos picturing me and Gaylyn over the last 4 years.The photos we sent were documented regarding the whereabouts and time on the back. That made it quite clear that we had been together and having fun half way around the globe for an extended amount of time. After that the case officer seemed convinced that we were together and only asked for proof, that we could fund ourselves for a while, which was not a problem to provide.
As a result since 31. of March 2017 I am a resident of New Zealand. I can legally work here and basically stay as long as I want. There is still a travel restriction in place though, which means that I can only enter the country for two years and have to meet certain requirements to qualify for permanent residency after the two year period.
Towards the end of summer we got introduced to Jim. Jim is a Maori who has a beautiful property in the Kerikeri Inlet which he looks after. He enjoys having people around who enjoy the land and maybe lend a hand in the garden. He invited us to come fishing and after catching some bait in nets outside of his little beach we headed off to his favourite fishing spot. On the first day I did not score but Gaylyn and Jim caught some snapper and we had a huge snapper on the long line he had laid out. On day two I caught my first fish ever, and shortly after that a mighty snapper. There is never a shortage of fish, pipis and oysters when you are around Jim’s place.
We came back two weeks later for some more fishing and ended up having a great feast of kahawai, smoked mullet and snapper, baked in the fire and some more fresh fish the next day served up by Gaylyn as poisson cru followed by a fish curry and accompanied by pipis fried in garlic. Living off the land…
So for the next two years we will hang around New Zealand for summer and spend winter in the Islands (Fiji,Tonga,Samoa, New Caledonia). For next summer we are actually planing to work and stock up our travel funds – we might even spend a winter…
Currently winter us coming once again in NZ and we are waiting for a weather window to leave to Fiji. Unfortunately there have been two late cyclones (Donna & Ella) and the weather still looks sort of chaotic to the north, so we are forced to stay a bit longer. Several boats that have left earlier got in some sort of trouble and others that made it to the islands then hand to buckle down to weather a passing cyclone. Not the sort of experiences we are looking for.
Tomorrow the remains of cyclone Donna are crossing the North Island and it looks like a lot of rain and wind is coming our way. We are going to duck in to the Marina later today.