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Thursday, March 17, 2016

NZ Landlubbers: One More Night?

Wayne gives Journey, our Pearson 365
sailboat  one last look before she splashes
from Riverside Marina, Whangarei New Zealand.
New Zealand's Whangarei's Riverside Marina.... 

We thought we'd be ready to get Journey in the slings, ready to splash except some spot bottom anti-foul paint Monday night.  Then Tuesday night.  Wednesday morning, we slinged, painted, then splashed.  We were in the water by about noon, sitting pretty.

We figured we'd be off to our pile mooring in a day, or within close to 24 hours.  All we needed to do was make sure the engine was good to go, then load up all the stuff we stripped off Journey for her time time in the yard to make it easy to work on her, and to support our life in apartment while her galley cabinetry was disassembled and cut, the primary entryway made inaccessible most of the time and fiberglass and epoxy and other noxious chemicals abounded.




Journey back in Riverside Marina's
"engine bay" dock, after her splash.
Whangarei, New Zealand.
At 1:15, after a series of distractions, Wayne fired up the engine.  She started first click and practically purred.  Best she's ever sounded.

Wayne's cautious, and given the whole engine was pulled out, reworked, reinserted and rehooked up, he wanted to run the motor for 1/2 hour before considering it good to go.

First few minutes were great, but then there was lots of white exhaust and some disconcerting noises that convinced Wayne the engine was still not quite prime time.

A bit of consulting with RD Marine mechanics and there was agreement one of the four injector needed some work.  Off it went to the local diesel shop.  Cleaned and back. Still not right.  More work, back that afternoon.  Still not right.  A new tip for the injector is due in tomorrow.  

So, one more night, then tomorrow we're officially back aboard.  We think.

Whangarei apartment steep stairs.
They're more like a ladder.  Fun moving!
Other than the extra expense of staying in a marina rather than on a pole mooring and knowing we're potentially delaying some other cruiser in the queue for limited work space, we're not really complaining.

Much as we love cruising and exploring New Zealand, we've really enjoyed this short-term apartment.

Our rent was only $200 NZD/week (about $130 USD).  

Our landlord's incredibly nice and went out of his way to be accommodating - providing basic appliances we don't have on the boat (microwave, toaster, billy, standing fridge-freezer, 4-burner ceramic stovetop, convection oven) furniture (dresser, couch, wheelie office stool, computer desk, leather couch, dining table, tv trays) and arranged for us to coat-tail a flatmate's 100 GB/month wifi connection.  



Queen-sized inflatable bed in our Whangarei apartment.
Wow!  Legroom!  It's not shaped like a pie slice.
We bought a new queen-sized inflatable bed for ~$40 USD when our landlord's source for a regular king bed didn't work out and brought over our foldable chairs.

Raised shower.  Our friend
Steve said it was the perfect
place for a show.  He wondered
where the chair was.
The apartment entry was a large service room, with shower (endless hot water!), service sink, bathroom sink vanity and toilet.  The kitchen's huge with tons of cabinets, drawers, counter space and a double sink.  The alcove, a perfect dining area, made a great storage area for us, as we needed someplace to put all the stuff we stripped off the boat (sails, line, extension cords, camping gear, scuba equipment...).  There was a good sized bedroom, and a huge additional room, well lit from large windows, overlooking the street and Mt. Pakahara.  Throughout the apartment, you can walk with ease, swinging your arms without thunking into anything.

Freezer!  Good enough to store ice.  Wayne's favorite
feature in our Whagarei apartment.
It was a 5 minute drive to the boat or the take-off point for morning Mt. Parihaka hikes with the gals.  






Dusk highlights over the Z gas station across the street.

Across the street from a gas station, above a Chinese take-away restaurant with decent, cheap food.  For $10 NZD (about $6.50 USD) Wayne got enough fried rice with steak to eat for two nights, and my $12.50 (about $8.50 USD) chicken and veg stir fry was two meals for me.  Two grocery excellent stores were only about 5 blocks away.



Sigh.

We're still here, and there just a few things left to move, and I'm already in past tense.

We've gotten good at making a home, quickly, wherever we are.  Tomorrow, and we hope for a year or so more (budget allowing), home will be our Pearson 365 sailboat and its ~150 or so square feet of space with a practically endless backyard.  As well. for another month or so, home is also our car, a Toyota Caldina wagon, slogging its way up New Zealand's mountainous roads, loaded down with camping gear.

With both, we are fortunate to explore some awesome places, meeting some terrific folks along the way.  Certainly, we can attest to incredible Kiwi hospitality and look forward to ways to return it, and to pay it forward.  It's nice to feel "home" is as much or more inside us, as where we are at the moment.

Kensington, Whangarei apartment.  We're in the middle,
raised upstairs section, two left windows.
Location Location
Currently our boat’s in Whangarei’s Riverside Marina (S35.43.674 E174.20.17), off its stilts, at the "engine bay" dock. after undergoing much major and minor work.  We've been living in an apartment in Whangarei's Kensington neighborhood, moving fully back aboard tomorrow. Maybe.


Sailing by the Numbers
Last year, between December 2014 and November 2015 we sailed from Florida USA to New Zealand, over 10,000 miles (visiting USA, Cuba, Colombia, Panama, Galapagos [Ecuador], French Polynesia, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand).  Budget permitting, we will resume serious cruising when cyclone season ends in ~April 2016.  We have not yet decided whether to sail to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu then Australia (~4,000 miles), or just to Vanuatu then Australia.  We plan to sell our boat in Australia and return to work - somewhere.