Monday, April 26, 2010

Today is the day apparently. We are going to put in the water, yyeeaahhh!. It has been over a year since Cat's-Paw Iv has been in the water so it is high time we were floating again. We were told that it would be about 0930 so we were ready, the backstay is undone, the fenders and dock lines are tied on in the appropriate spots and we are all a go. The boat is on a trailer at the moment so they towed us to the middle of the lot and left us there. We had been tucked away in a little corner but they moved us and we are here until after lunch apparently. It is a quite weird being in the centre of everything but I guess I should be happy we are closer to the water.
We have been busy getting new stuff and installing it on the boat. Barry insisted that we have a new wind vane, the one we had was getting old and we were always having problems with it. Our buddy Brian came for a visit the other day and he called it boat jewelery, it is so shiny and new. We have decided to call our wind vane, "Bob", if we can't have my brother on board steering we will have something that should be almost as reliable as him! We spent a good two days getting Bob installed, I hope we did it properly, we used the old mounts on the boat so we did not have to make any new holes or gunk up any old ones.
The other things we have been working on is a new wind generator, we have the pole and the new stainless steel bracing struts to reinforce the radar arch where the wind generator will be attached. The only thing is that it may cast a shadow on the solar panels, but I don't think that can be helped, there wasn't too many other choices about where it could go.
We also bought a new dinghy. It is a 2.6 meter rigid bottom with inflatable pontoons. I was worried that it looked a little small, it is 30 cm smaller than out last dinghy but I think it will do fine. I think a bigger one would not go very fast at all with out little 5 hp motor to move it along. A dinghy is hugely important, whenever you anchor it is your conveyance to shore and back, it is your taxi for your groceries and fuel, and it allows you explore all sorts of places that you can't take your boat. This dinghy also comes with nice wooden rowing oars, so I should be able to get some exercise when I feel like it.

We are afloat at long last. We got into the slip with only a slight nudge of one of the pilings. It rained all day so it put a stop to our work, and I decided that to celebrate I was going to take the rest of the day off and just relax and enjoy being afloat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Due to popular demand, actually my brother asked for me to put this on, here is the video of Barry skiing. It was just 8 short months from walking with a cane to skiing with ease down the slopes, isn't modern medicine a miracle!!
Even more impressive is this video of Trish snowboarding, the fact that she is a wonder on the board is impressive enough, the really cool thing about it is that her Dad is following her down the slopes taking the video of her while he is skiing, proof that he is fully in control of himself and his hips!!
Not to be outdone, Quinn has his own skiing video. Trish strapped on my ski rentals at the end of the day and went up and down the bunny hill a few times with Quinn. It was great to be there at the beginning of his skiing career. That is Graeme in the picture at the beginning and Quinn was having great fun chasing him down the hill. I am sure many more fun filled days at the hill are in their future.
I would like to share a picture of Quinn and I outside the hot springs. It is a great shot of Quinn, we are looking at the pool at Radium and checking out the waterfall that was near the road. On the way back to the car there were a couple of back hoes, one quite small and a large one was parked across the highway. When we were gazing at the bigger one a big semi-trailor came lumbering up the road. Quinn waved and the driver honked his horn in acknowledgment; it made Quinn's day!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We arrived safe and sound in Auckland, and miracle of miracles our bag showed up,I guess we were just lucky. That was so nice that we didn't have to replace all the cruising guides or have the bag follow us around. The boat buddies that crossed from the Marquesas to Tahiti, Brian and Cathy from Tarun, met us at the airport and gave us a ride to the bus station. We both managed to sleep on the plane and snooze as well on the 2 1/2 hour bus ride to Whangarei. We luckily showed up on the day the merchants were giving a farewell feast to the cruisers so after we moved around some gear and made the bed we headed off to renew acquaintances and meet new friends and have a wonderful dinner.
Cat's-Paw IV was quite musty and dirty below so I spent the next day cleaning up and sorting out the galley. Another cruising buddy gave up a lift to the store so we hit the market and got lots of lovely fresh fruits and vegs. It is fall down here so the harvest is in full swing. There are quite a few people here that we met before we left so it isn't as if everyone has left us behind, I guess lots of people spend more than one season in this area.
We are still on the hard and no date for lift in has been decided. We are busy putting on some new gear we have purchased so a lot of decisions are being made and money being spent. We are adding a wind generator so we won't have to depend on our solar panels for power and we won't have to feel guilty about turning on the lights at night or plugging in the computers. Out fridge has packed it is so we are getting a new thingy (I suppose it must be a compressor) to make it go. Barry says that we are getting a complete refrigeration unit, but the actual fridge part will stay the same.
It is very pleasant to sit in the cockpit at lunchtime and munch away on garden carrots and fresh tomatoes in sandwiches. The temperature is about 20 during the day and cools off nicely in the evening. The days are not nearly as long as they were in Yellowknife when we left so it makes for a long evening. We go to bed about cruisers midnight which is 9:00 P.M. Hope all is well with everyone back in Canada.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

We are in Honolulu at the moment about to embark on the last stage of our journey back to Cat’s-Paw IV. Everything has gone smoothly, well let’s rephrase that, we haven’t missed any connections so all is good. They lost one of our bags between Victoria and San Francisco, how can they do that, all three bags went on together and then only two appeared in SF. Luckily they were the 2 very large hockey bags that showed up, but the third bag had all our guide book for the next 6 months, all nicely copied and collated. Hopefully it got put on the plane and may show up in Auckland. We have had long waits between flights.
Our buddies from our first year in Mexico, Pat and Carole from Espiritu met us in San Fran. What a treat to see them again. Carole was like the big sister I never had in Mexico, always looking out for us, we really enjoyed knowing them. We had laid a friendly wager about the outcome of the Canada/US Olympic Hockey game so Carole had to parade around the airport in the Canadian Hockey Jersey I purchased. We also gave them a Go Canada Go flag and requested that they take pictures at the hot spots around San Francisco to prove they were flying it. I expect a picture of their car with a tram car going by the “flag” at the very least. It was absolutely wonderful to have a 3 hour visit with them.
The leg from SF to Hawaii was uneventful except that we are unsure of where the bag might be. We had a seven hour layover here, so we hopped an airporter bus and did a little sight seeing. We went down to Waikiki Beach at Diamond Head and watched some surfing as I dipped my toes in the Pacific once again. We both broke out into a sweat as soon as we left the airport building. It is very humid here. We stopped downtown and gorged ourselves at an all you can eat Japanese buffet. They had great sushi, and the other forms of seafood were really good.. We are currently waiting to board the Air New Zealand flight that will whisk us off to Auckland. I hope to fall asleep and wake up when we land.
I had a few anxious moments in downtown Honolulu waiting for a city bus to take us to the airport, we are in cruiser mode already and would rather wait and take the bus, paying $2.25 each rather than pay a $50.00 taxi ride. We waited over h and hour but it eventually came and after much teeth gnashing on my part we pulled into the airport and stopped right along side the terminal we needed.
Barry has had to deal with one of the consequences of his new hip, the new improved pat down procedures, where they get up close and personal to make sure he really is the gentle kind soul he appears to be and not some crazed maniac with stuff strapped to his body that may blow up.

P.S. I have video proof that Barry was skiing at Panorama but the connection is really slow here so will not try to load it here. I promise to put it on later.
I've got some good pics, they will have to be later as well, really, really slow.