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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
PS We arrived!
12/09/2011, Opua, New Zealand

I could tell you about the excitement of seeing the beacon's light twinkling in the distance, the scent of wet land and flowers as we approached, the feeling of achievement we had from arriving in New Zealand, but all those descriptions are a distant memory and so much has happened since then. So I'll just update you with the basics in a summary kind of blog. Get used to it, I won't be having the time to indulge in daily blogs much longer!
Customs was a breeze and we got to keep most of our food (except fresh fruit and veg) and all of our treasured shells. We arrived on the Saturday and on the Sunday evening Stephen, our new next boat neighbour, was heading down to Auckland the next morning, so Mark arranged for me to have a lift (no rest for the wicked.)
I've just come back from a very successful trip - job, school, marina all sorted out. I will be working with a private speech and language therapist 4 days a week in Albany, Auckland. It sounds like just the kind of job that is perfect for me for a year - see the kids, go home. I will be taking on some ASD kids (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) which will be a new interesting challenge for me.
The Marina is called Westpark and in the west. It has shops, post office, dentist, the usual around. As we are overseas, we can live aboard and the school is within walking distance from the marina. That's called Hobsonville Primary and has 600 kids, so it will be interesting for the kids to go to something larger than Bel Royal (or home schooling!) Mia will be in the same year, but Lochy will be in the year below due to the year cut offs being April/May instead of Aug/Sept. Luckily his class is a split class with the year above, so there will be scope for him doing stuff he'd be doing at home if needs be.
We are going back to Auckland on Wednesday for a 'meet the teacher day.' Then schools break up for the summer holidays and their first day of term will be 1st February. The same day I start work. Thank goodness Grandma will be here to help out :-)
So, we're going to be in Opua for Christmas - there's a nice yachtie community and Richard is here - someone I sailed across the Atlantic with all those years back. He continued on to NZ and then never left Opua! He's been fantastic, lending us his car when he is at work, showing the kids the cockpit of the car ferry that he drives past us every day. We're on the dock for ease and a change!
The kids have already adopted a dog to take for walks and Lochy has done a Tae Kwondo class and loved it. We're meeting Santa today and the Christmas tree is up. After we've filled in the visa, tax, SLT membership, school entry forms, we can (nearly) kick back and relax for Christmas.

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Ten green bottles with a twist

December 2011

We've got a new song. It counts down the nautical miles to Opua and we've been doing it since 99 miles - 30 left to go! The kids spent pretty much all day on the trampoline as it was lovely calm sailable conditions; so they are tired out now. They still want waking up when we arrive in NZ as they are excited- as that will be 5am, I'm not so sure; we'll see. We've got all our instructions for arriving at the customs dock, we've sorted out the food that can't be taken in - present for Neptune and now we're just counting down the a song that I can't get out of my head!

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12/02/2011 | rose marie crolla
is that the green bottles belonging to the red wine or champange? well done on your epic journey. best of luck to you all lover r m
Pent up energy

1 December 2011

ooph! Today has been as windy as yesterday and it has only just calmed down, the sea is a bit mad still so we've pretty much been in the saloon all day. The kids are just about bouncing off the walls, having been deprived of their daily romp on the trampoline - it's just been too rough to go out of the cockpit today. At least it's getting calmer now and so tomorrow they will be able to get out into the fresh air. And then we should be getting in to Opua in the early hours of Saturday morning. We've been on a daily SSB net in the morning with other boats heading down and now we have been checking in with Russell Radio who let customs know our ETA - it's nice to have that extra bit of contact every day. We're busy making popcorn and flapjacks before we get it all confiscated. Tomorrow is definitely going to have to be a potato day. Current position: 32.23S 175.36 190 miles to go....

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30 November 2011

that pretty much sums up today. Winds picked up, three reefs in the main, waves in the cockpit. All well on board. Now, where are those advent calendars!!

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Computer glitch

30 November 2011

We had to do a little computer loving today. You know, the usual, hugging her, telling her we love her, asking her to keep going just a few more days so we can download e mails and look at our charts. But I think that the effort of going on to the SSB for e mails is taking its strain and she needs to rest for a while after each effort. I think we might just be in a pocket where she has to try extra hard to connect, so don't be surprised if blogs are shorter or non-existent for a while; we're just in a radio wave free zone. Now we've uninstalled and reinstalled some programmes, she's a bit happier, so let's see if she lasts long enough for us to get into Opua. Don't worry, we have paper back ups and with 450 miles to go she doesn't have long to go before she can have a well deserved rest! Winds have been light all day and we've been motoring, but at least that has given us hot water and so we all have had a shower and clean pants. Now I don't want you to think we haven't had clean pants since Minerva reef. No, I don't want you to think that! Current position: 28.37S 178.17E

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Crossing 180 degrees

28 November 2011

The wind has been 17-20 knots all day and we've been sailing at 6-7 knots. Just beautiful. We put in 150 miles yesterday which is a pretty good day for us and I don't think we'll get that again, but we are feeling like we're nearer and nearer to Opua - just 610 miles to go. There are other yachts around - within VHF radio range so it has been nice to chat and see another sail during the day. I forgot to mention that whilst we were in Minerva reef, Mia cut may hair again. Not such a good cut as the last time and Mark had to salvage it as best he could! I now have a cut just below the ears - my shortest for a while!! I might have to tie it back and grow it before I can go to the hairdressers for my first proper cut in a year. It's not that that there aren't hairdressers any where else in the world; I've just not cared much until now - before my job interview, I might have to visit the hairdressers!! Curr position: 26.12S 179.39E Oh yeah!! We have passed the 180 degree line and so we are now East! Two more degrees and we are exactly the other side of the world to Jersey.

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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