Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hi there, I have been having a break from the blog. I have just not had the energy to do much of anything since we arrived. Our passage was a pretty good one as crossings of that stretch of water go. Reading the log entries, we had a bit of everything. We had calm winds and seas where we motored and then we had seas we had to beat into where the boat was bashing to weather. At those times it was hard to sleep because it felt like the boat was going to come apart it was smashing into the waves so hard. The calms and the bashing bits seemed to alternate quite nicely though so we were given time to recover from the bad bits during the quiet times. The last day and a half the wind moved around to the north and we had the wind behind us blowing us into New Zealand. We were in short sleeves and shorts enjoying the sunshine as we sailed into the Bay of Islands. It was a marvelous way to end our trip.
We were very happy to arrive, it was a huge relief after all the horror stories we had heard about sailing here. It took me about a week to get my head around the fact that we were here and that we had to figure out what to do now. Everyone kept asking what are your plans and where are you going and when??? I just wanted to tell them to quit asking me questions and when I had anything figured out I would let them know. Barry has been very busy getting repairs done to the boat, he knew what he had to do and I just watched him do it.
The marina had a welcome to cruisers week the first week we were here. There was an open house at the chandlery and the sail loft as well as a bus trip to Whangarei. We ordered a new genoa and got a bit of a discount at the sail loft and took the bus trip to Whangarei, which is another port south of here where we going to leave the boat when we go touring with Mom. New Zealand is very hilly, the roads are extremely windy and narrow and there is something different around every corner. The hills are grassy and have sheep or cattle grazing, most of the land is fenced as well. We are staying at the Opua Marina and have a slip here for a month. It is nice to just be able to step off the boat and access all the businesses that cater to boat repairs. The only trouble is that it doesn’t have much else. There is no grocery store, only a small convenience store, one restaurant and one coffee shop.
Our buddies on Taran have bought a car and they have very generously taken us shopping a couple of times. The other day they were going to a bigger town near here and we went along. We replaced our camera which was one it’s last legs after being smooshed when I fell on it in Apia and I finally replaced the sheets the laundry lady in the Marquesas lost. I got my glasses adjusted so they no longer drop off my nose as soon as I look down and Barry got a new pair of fake crocs after he discovered a hole in the pair he has been traipsing about in.
Barry has been working away at all the small jobs that need to be done in order to get the boat back into shape. He has packaged up the ham radio to send it back to Canada to get it repaired under warranty. I spent about five hours hanging half way up the mast trying to string the new cable for the radar. We finally got it done and the electrical guy is in the boat at the moment trying to connect it and then Hallelujah we might have a working radar again!!! (If you want details ask me when you see me, I can’t believe how much work it was.) Barry took the water maker out today and took it in to see if they can repair a small leak which it had developed. I made a huge list when we were under way so I guess we need to look at it to see what else we need to do. Barry was going to put a replacement part in the head yesterday to stop it from flooding and when he went to turn off the sea water inlet the inlet flange broke, so we no longer have a head that works. Good thing there is a small washroom that is fairly close. The plumber is supposed to arrive today to have a look at that; I sure hope he shows up. That is our life so far, I will try to keep more up to date.