North Island | South Island | Great Mercury Island
December 1, 2002 — January 11, 2003
New Zealand has played a very large and pivotal
role in Will’s life. 12 years ago, Will’s dad, at a loss as
to what to do with his wayward 18 year-old son, had Will deported to New
Zealand as a last resort. The rest, as they say, is history.
So 12 years later, this seemed the logical first stop on the international
leg of our world tour, as it provides a little bit of a comfort zone before
we delve into truly strange lands. However, it has been a hell of a homecoming
and, at the rate we’ve been going, we may not make it off the island.
the last 5 days we have: renewed old friendships, had a lager or 2, delved
into the (day and night) life of the Louis Vuitton Series of The America’s
Cup, lunched in an olive grove on the north coast, swum in hilltop waterfalls,
climbed a volcano, crawled through lava caves, raced barefoot on black
sand beaches, had another lager or 2, toured the largest machine shop
in New Zealand (which is the sole source of magnets for the global ion
implantation equipment market, is the builder of the Keel for Team New Zealand, and pumps out some wicked fast
motorcycles), watched movies under the southern cross with the fragrance
of lemons, mint and rosemary in the air and bunnies bouncing around in
front of the screen, and flew by helicopter at sunset to the most beautiful
island in the southern hemisphere (so green thanks to the fertilizer Will
had to spread there in his youth) where Will’s adopted kiwi family
gave the Rousmanieres a "top-off of kiwi blood" and some lovely lamb chops…And maybe along the
way we’ve had another lager or 2…or 3.
Immense thanks go out to our friend, Chris Bennett, who has been a most
generous host while in Auckland and its environs. And it has been wonderful
to see Will’s adopted kiwi family again, despite their insistence
on telling (what Will insists are mythical) stories about Will’s
wild youth down under.
Another wonderful element of the trip is that Will’s dad has been
here to share it with us. He is in town with the Outdoor life Network
covering the Cup, and accompanied us on about half of the events listed
above. Not to mention the black tie affair he attended two nights ago,
which any of you can probably find on the E! Channel, called the Louis
Vuitton Ball. Billed as the New Zealand event of the year, 1200 guests,
including Dad, the America’s Cup skippers, and Xena the warrior
Princess, were whisked away on a ferry to an undisclosed location for
a night of debauchery. Dad hasn’t been the same since. We left him
this morning with Dennis Conner, getting in one last interview before
DC, as he’s called here, fades into the sunset of Cup elimination.
A little worn out by Kiwi city life, today we jump in a car and spend
two weeks driving down to the South island and back. We will be in the South
island for Christmas, and whisked away to an undisclosed location for
New Year’s Eve.
The next stop is a little unclear at the moment. But it will likely either
be Australia or Western Samoa.
will be back on the airwaves over the coming weeks but, just in case,
we wish you all safe and loving holidays. And, please be assured that
we are doing the same.
Will & Dana
South Island >