Two days later, the seas rolled and churned; not enough to be a danger, but enough to demand attention. It was like an unsteady old man waking after a nap and shaking off the drowsiness. The sea now ready to be itself; full of bravado and surprise.
The Odyssey moved gracefully and greatly. She could do so, for no one of her ilk lay anywhere near to compete. Even if so, few could equal her stamina or exploits and she still had plenty remaining within her. “What a grand gal you are.”
The further south temperatures moderated to something more tolerable and pleasant. In fact, the nights had become chilly and did not seem to warm appreciably until mid-morning.
The rolling seas continued until about 100 miles from Auckland.
“12 days,” Rich said. “If not for the lack of winds perhaps in 10 or so.”
“I’ll find the girl, deliver the pearls, and spend a couple of days before sailing off to Sydney—another 1500 miles of ocean.”
To the south, a mist hung low and through it land appeared. “New Zealand,” Rich said.
Rich sailed into the Hauraki Gulf and passed a number of islands before catching sight of the Auckland skyline. By radio, he located a marina to dock The Odyssey. It was tucked away into a small inlet connected to the bay by a narrow creek. It appeared to be only 30 feet wide at its narrowest point. The marina told him to be certain he stayed in the middle of the creek.
The narrow passage tested Rich’s nerves and skill. He was not used to navigating so precisely. Soon the creek opened into a marina that spanned nearly 70 yards in width. Rich found an empty slip, number 58. That is where he was told to dock.
As Rich secured The Odyssey his thoughts and imagination drifted to the young girl whom he had never met. He wandered about her reaction, whether surprise, gratitude, and or perhaps a flat ambivalence. He hoped to find her quickly and let that obligation pass from his thoughts.
He made contact with the manager of the marina and paid for three days.