Laura’s surprise weekend 2

Last weekend, Laura planned a day of horse riding along The Hokianga Coast. She was spoiling me and who could blame her?

Then Laura said, ‘This weekend I’ve got another surprise for you.’ What was happening? I know that I’m a great husband but I wasn’t quite sure that I deserved two surprise weekends in a row, or did I?

After some considerable thought, I decided that perhaps I did.

Anyway, I went along with it and got ready on the Saturday morning for all eventualities. All I was told was that I would definitely need my swimming trunks.

Laura led me through town to the wharf, where we were greeted by Nik and his beautiful sailing boat, Vigilant.

Laura had organised for us to go sailing for the day.

‘Ah, now I get it. This isn’t a surprise for me is it? This is a treat for you,’ I astutely observed.

Laura defended herself, ‘Well, yes…It’s a treat for me too but it’s still a surprise for you.’

I eyed her suspiciously.

‘Hey, I’m the best wife ever, taking her husband on a surprise sailing trip,’ said Laura convincingly.

Her logic seemed reasonable and I couldn’t fault her yet.

So off we sailed with Nik and some other tourists from around the world.

The weather was beautiful and the wind was enough to give us momentum without blowing us off the deck.

We all helped pull lines, raise different sails and steer the boat.

First of all we headed out from Paihia towards Black Rocks.

A German guy was doing an excellent job at the wheel, keeping the boat straight but next it was Laura’s turn. The boat almost instantly veered off course and started heading straight towards the rocks.

Laura countered the maneuver by spinning the wheel in the opposite direction and flinging the boat violently off to the side. The boat was zigzagging across the ocean like a pinball.

Nik tried to defend Laura by stating that steering the boat wasn’t as easy as it seemed. ‘In fact,’ he continued, ‘Sometimes we don’t even talk to the person who is steering, so the driver can concentrate fully.’

‘Did you just say that so we don’t have to talk to Laura?’ I inquired.

Nik laughed, so I did too.

It wasn’t long before someone else took the wheel and we turned and started heading towards the small gap between Motukiekie Island and Moturua Island. Laura could now relax and so could the rest of the passengers.

It wasn’t long before it was my turn to steer the boat. I confidently took the wheel and assumed control of the vessel. To Laura’s credit, it was quite hard to steer as one slight turn would cause the boat to move but only after about a 5 second delay.

The captain nodded at me and shot me a look that said, ‘The way you drive this boat is a thing of beauty and I admire your commanding seamanship. We are men of the sea, born of the same ilk. Out here, we are brothers.’

I gave him a smile and a knowing nod that said, ‘Yep.’

As we approached the islands, we swung north and headed to the west coast of Waewaetorea Island. The water was sensational.

We were given an hour to survey the island, so we disembarked with everyone else and set about climbing to the highest point.

As you can see, the view was simply stunning. ‘Who’s the best wife ever?’ asked Laura smugly.

I had to hand it to her, she was doing pretty well in the old wife stakes.

‘Let’s see if you can twist your next blog against me now,’ said Laura, laying down the challenge.

Before we knew it, the hour was up and it was time to go back to the boat. ‘Do you want to swim?’ I asked Laura.

She had to think about it, ‘The water looks so tempting but I know it’s so cold. Do we have to?’

‘Yeah come on,’ I encouraged, ‘Look at the water.’

Before I had time to blink, Laura had stripped off to her bikini and was dashing for the water like a mad man, shrieking and squealing as she charged and dived into the water.

I dipped my toes in and the cold rose up through my body. The warm sunny day suddenly dropped a couple of degrees and I noticed the sharp chill in the wind as the sun disappeared behind a cloud.

Laura had stopped swimming and turned back to face the land, ‘You’d better follow Ryan!’

I looked at the little landing dingy. ‘Do you want to come back in the boat?’ asked Nik. I thought about it. It would have been pretty funny but the water just looked too good to pass up.

Sea and thumb

I too stripped off and entered the water with a little less enthusiasm than Laura, as I endeavored to keep as much of my body out of the water as possible as I tiptoed my way deeper. In the end, I took the final plunge and submerged myself with a manly shrill scream.

The water was actually quite nice once the body had adjusted and we could no longer feel any of our limbs, so we enjoyed a little paddle by the boat before exiting.

The day was almost over but there was still time to lay back and enjoy the rest of the voyage.

Suddenly though, the wind picked up and we went from a gentle cruise to a sailing adventure. The boat tipped to one side and people had to find a new seating position at this new angle and hold on.

We were charging back to Paihia and now we were left with the final task of straightening the boat up and trying to lower the sail, luckily though Laura wasn’t in charge of the wheel, so we didn’t have too much trouble.

On land, we thanked Nik for what had been an absolutely sensational day. I had to hand it to Laura she’d done pretty well.

‘So how are you going to turn this blog against me then?’ she asked with a smug smile.

‘I don’t think I can dear,’ I declared, ‘I don’t think I can.’