And yes, we mean Auckland, not Oakland.
We’ll let Toast Conger of the Seattle based-Lagoon 380 Don Quixote — who along with husband Dean and daughters Jaime, Mera and Aeron, had been cruising Mexico the last two years — explain.
"The Don Quixote girls arrived safely in New Zealand. We rented a house here in a suburb south of Auckland far from the busy city life. We named our rental ‘Chicken House’ after the Rhode Island Reds that browse the property daily. Two days after moving some of our bags into the house, thieves broke in and took 7 of the 10 pieces of luggage we had moved to New Zealand. Those bags contained basically everything we owned: clothes, electronics, nautical gear, and all the girls’ personal items such as diaries, souvenirs and trinkets.
"Despite the set-back, Jaime, Mera and Aeron forged ahead. They started school, moved into their new ‘cabins’, and set about making as many new friends as possible. To recover from the theft, they initiated The Memory Project, a shout-out to their cruising friends and family requesting letters and souvenirs from the places we’d visited over the years. One of the very first items to arrive was a letter from Heather and Jim Donnell of the Ventura-based 49-ft cat Meerkat, including a Latitude 38 clipping about Don Quixote. It was a tremendous pick-up for the whole family.
"Naturally, I reported the burglary to the local police, including a very long and highly detailed list of what was stolen. Well, yesterday the police called me. I was asked to go to a residence where the police thought I might be able to identify some of our stolen goods. They were pretty certain the items were ours because carefully displayed on a bookshelf were two beautifully decorated glasses embossed with sailboats and the words ‘Baja Ha-Ha 2008’. Yes, our stuff was found because the thieves couldn’t bear to part with our Ha-Ha wine glasses, including the companion ‘I Survived the Ha Ha’ certificate. The certificate even had our names on it! While the thieves sold all the valuable items, we anticipate recouping our financial losses through our insurance. And the girls’ memorabilia? We found a good fraction of it in the trash nearby.
"So thanks to all our friends participating in The Memory Project and special thanks to the Ha-Ha and Latitude 38 for making our worldly goods so obviously unlike anything else in New Zealand."