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Anthem Adrift
Wine Not?
03/08/2012, Napier, NZ

7 March 2012

Wind fairy took a powder about 0330, but, not wanting to annoy the growly thing in the bilge, flopped along at 3 knots until 0830 when speed dropped below 1. After three cacophonous additional hours boat is now camped in front of the Napier Sailing Club in such a way that members can look right down into the saloon and V-berth. They seem very friendly.

Napier is a pretty city of palm trees lining city streets and beautiful Marine Parade along the shore with parks, gardens and sculptures. It hosts the National Aquarium, is a center for the oldest wine region in New Zealand and has "the most comprehensive collection of inner-city art deco buildings in the world". This was done on purpose after a 7.8 earthquake flattened the place in 1931.

9 March 2012

Yesterday was spent touring the aquarium, which is small but very well done and the Wine Center which proclaims an aroma room. Jan has a pretty good nose, but all I could distinguish was the one that smelled like moldy horse turds. As this is seldom evident even in the swill we normally buy the experience was of limited utility so purchases will continue to be based upon price, pretty labels and cool names. By the way have you tried Fat Bastard, Ultimate Bastard, White Trash, Under the Table, Sin Zin, YN, Up a Gum Tree, Le Fiat Door, Old Tart, The Full Monty, Spatzendreck (sparrow shit), Golden Beaver, Smoking Parrot, Lazy Lizard, Bored Doe, Hair of the Dingo, Goat Rotie, Love My Goat, Goats Do Roam (which is not a Cotes du Rhone) or Rasteau (which is a Cotes du Rhone) with Braille imprinted label for, apparently, blind drunks?

Jack

Under Way, Way Under
03/06/2012, Abeam Portland Island

6 March 2012

All back together and on the way to Napier after assembling parts for and installing adjustable, solar panel supports. Taking three times as long as is reasonable, decided to measure twice and cut once instead of more typical and even less efficient technique. At current rate of progress expect to have amps flowing within the month, perhaps this one.

Happily surprised to have decent wind, ergo sailing sounds unadulterated by ambiance of heavy machinery, after departing Gisborne at 1600. Hoping to continue this delightful circumstance all the way to destination. Hey, it could happen. Glass half full, so there!

Jack

Exhausted in Manifold Ways
03/05/2012, Gisborne

4 March 2012

16 degrees C, 25 knots from the south, sun shining and rain. Summer in New Zealand.

On the day of rest, instead of doing much else, we rested. Jan finished Stieg Larsen's second "The Girl..." book and I was finally able to download detailed charts of our next year's travels into iPad and leveled new solar panel. Tomorrow may see organized activity if we don't devolve into complete decomposition.

5 March 2012

Brekkie and coffee injected energy into our system to avoid total entropy. The universe and life as we know it persists.

With highish hopes that exhaust manifold will be ready today (has anyone else noticed that even optimistic people only have half a glassful?) we plan to refuel for the expected motor through a no wind high to Picton.

- Later

Hose from truck didn't quite reach the boat and we couldn't move due to exhaust manifold deficiencies (mainly not being installed) so expect to refuel in the morning. Currently contemplating next backup plan due to weather bomb low that just went by stalling and sending a trough back over us. Said plan involves sailing to Napier tomorrow night before southwest winds re-emerge Wednesday morning to wait for next window. This getting to Marlborough Sound thing is turning into a chore.

Did, however, get manifold installed and it appears, after some tinkering and unlike my brain, to be leak free.

Jack

It's the Bomb
02/29/2012, Gisborne

29 February 2012

Happy birthday to Rich's son James on his 8th birthday. He looks so much older. Glad I'm not 16.

Overnight from Slipper Island to Gisborne was surprisingly uneventful given reports of potential conditions around East Cape and forecast 3.5 meter seas from there down. There's nothing like a long period, large amplitude swell rolling into a rocky shore to impress on one the incredible power of the ocean without said individual getting beat up in the process.

Slight possibility to make 90 NM trek to Napier tomorrow, but adverse wind and sea slowing progress before the weather bomb hits makes Gisborne appear highly appealing. Not having experienced 54 knot winds and 9 meter seas, Jan seems reluctant to take the chance. Darn! The sacrifices one makes!

Jack

Hung Out There
02/27/2012, Bay of Plenty

28 February 2012

After a restful (despite garrulous cows), but short night in South Bay on Slipper Island (also private - there seem to be a lot of them) we weighed anchor before 0600 in order to arrive in the protection of Gisborne Harbour by tomorrow evening. Blowing a hoolie ain't in it. We could get to know the town quite well as the usually restrained GRIBS and Wind Guru claim up to 54 knots over the next several days.

Blithely motor-sailing off the wreckage of container ship Rena on Astrolabe Reef, we must listen to that noisy, red, iron thing in the bilge as barometer readings begin to plummet. We will be most pleased to have manure impact the air movement device post-arrival Kaiti Basin.

Speaking of cows, why a herd? Horses could be in herds, but there are gaggles of geese, why not a cluster of cattle? A sheer of sheep? A leap of leopards? A faction of foxes? A rampage of rhinoceroses? A cacophony of cats? A dawdle of ducks (calm)? A dervish of ducks (excited)? A ptomaine of pterodactyls?... Dangles of donkeys? Jack

Hello Baaahbra
02/26/2012, Coralie Bay, Great Mercury Island

26 February 2012

The beautiful 15 inch big screen TV (quit laughing!) that inhabited a saloon bulkhead and the accompanying DVD player were deplorably underused outside of North America due to format and regional restrictions. This lamentable circumstance has now been remedied, at great expense, by replacement with a humongous (it's all relative) 19 inch Teac 12/120/240v LED DTV/DVD. This rascal plays everything from every region in any format. (This is, of course, horribly naive, but some among us wish not to be disabused of the notion for awhile.. It does lots). Last night's entertainment was "Quigley Down Under". "The Wind and the Lion" taken directly from a USB external drive is on que for tonight.

Seems that cattle are more prevalent in Northland because sheep's hooves rot in the warm moist climate up here (this despite our having seen maybe 5 days of summer this summer). Still, there are lots of bovines and ovines all over and also on this private island. Cows smell worse, but are somewhat insular. It's a little unnerving to have an entire hillside of motionless sheep glaring unblinking at you for minutes at a time. You'd think they'd never seen a Canadian. Posted rules limit where one may go (shore and pasture areas only) and certain activities such as building fires. No mention is made of annoying, eating or dating the sheep, but some things are probably assumed.

Jack

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