Thanks for the good wishes guys - confirms I'm not silly pinching myself. I thought I may be over-reacting -it still feels too good to be true.
I hope you don't mind if we come visit you at some stage in the near future. We visit Auckland fairly regularly (once a year-ish) to go sailing with friends and in our time off have done Wellington, Rotorua, Hobbiton, the whole Coromandel Peninsular (in one day) and Devonport (another day - too many bookshops!) and Piha of course. Russell/BOI is the only place still on the bucket list..
The fact that you have sailed with friends in Auckland means you have almost certainly sailed the Hauraki Gulf.
Unfortunately this may start sounding like I'm bragging but really, I'm not. We're just blessed with where we live. At this time and probably for the next 18 months, we'll stay living where we are now which is in the Gulf, here:
This is Waiheke Island off Auckland. The circle to the right is our house (approx) and the one to the left is our mooring.
This is our present sailing area which you have probably sailed and it is also a premium cruising ground. We have about 50 safe anchorages within 50 miles of our home. The arrow is our home.
So you're absolutely welcome to come and visit and you can sail in the Gulf with us or we can meet up with your friends in a local anchorage somewhere, drink some beer, share some stories. Just let me know when you're next headed this way.
But unfortunately we won't be moving the boat north to BOI for at least a year yet. Above invite extends to then if it fits with your timing.