Saturday, February 07, 2009

Racing through paradise!

They take their racing seriously here in NZ!

Toketie tugs at her mooring as the swells race down Waikeri Inlet. The wind from the East is a welcome sight to the Friday race out of the Opua Cruising Club as we sit in our sheltered cockpit, sipping a cold white Sauvignon Blanc, a top 100 Gold Medal wine from Crawford Farm….thanks Mikey…good tip that one!

Like most cruising clubs in the world we are treated to the contest every Wednesday and Friday just before the sun goes down.

But we have been in New Zealand for close to three months now. And after sixteen pages of paperwork, passport photos, signatures of a local JP…they have very generously allowed us to stay another three months. What a relief, since there is nowhere to go by boat in cyclone season! Unfortunately, other than the occasional drive into the local villages for supplies, we have seen very little of NZ. Oh, we did go to Russell one day for fish and chips…..and a couple of tall ships sailed by!

But two steps forward, one step back seems to be the order of the day. Most of the rigging problems from Mexico seem to have been corrected. Tip for anyone cruising in Mexico….stay out of Puerto Vallarta….and especially do not have any work done by anyone in the Danielson family, formerly operating as North Sails, we are lucky to have survived what they did for us, literally!

We dropped into Titan Sails, a real sailmaker shop yesterday and witnessed the progress on our two new sails! Now that was nice to see….the jib is about 70% completed and the new fully battened mainsail is cut out with three reef points marked and should be ready next week! It was very exciting!

Soon we will be going around to Whangarei, about 80 miles South, to haul out again and try to resolve an electrolysis problem that seems to have materialized locally and caused problems with the paint below the waterline.

But this is the cruising life. From paradise you go to wondering what the heck you are doing! And we seem to be doing a lot more wondering than wandering lately!

Today we stayed on board and the sun was so hot we had to hide from it, cover up the hatches and put up the air scoop! You cannot imagine how hot it is here. Apparently it hit 40 or more on the South Island…..Warm Rain joined us for a game of scrabble last night…..and John Prine wails in the background….ooh blah dee ooh blah dah… goes on…..

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