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Roaring Girl
The adventures of the yacht Roaring Girl wandering the seas.
A long day
26/04/2008, Looe to Fowey

When I left in the morning, my target was Polperro about 5 miles. A bit shorter, but with very sore feet, I'm OK with that.
The walk out of Looe was truly stunning, a beautiful day with a long up and down track arriving at Polperro (in the pic) by 1.00. Feeling fit so I decided to keep going. Polruan, Fowey, is another 7 miles.
Arrived once again on the stumps that are my feet, just in time to see the last ferry pulling in to Polruan (6.55pm). Phew! A quick trip across Fowey harbour to another night in another Ship Inn (not very nice).

Places and people
Up and down
25/04/2008, Portwinkle to Looe

The coastal path along here is very up and down, and with a lot of fog. For the last hour I was hoping for a bus, but it was not to be. About 4.30 I triumphantly got in to Looe and tied up for the night in the Ship Inn.

Places and people
Crossing the border
24/04/2008, Plymouth to Portwinkle

Today I got the train to Plymouth then ferry to Cawsand/Kingsand . Across the border from Devon to Cornwall. Started walking right away following the path, with a few diversions. Four hours later I completed my first day, 10km/6 miles, and arrived at Portwinkle.
The Lighthouse B&B proved very comfortable to rest my sore legs and tired feet, Slept very well.

Places and people
Home, sweet home
17/04/2008, Port Napoleon, Port St Louis

I came on ahead to Roaring Girl, getting back on the evening of 17 April. It was a bit grim at the time, as it was pouring with rain, and I took an hour to find a safe ladder and get the baggage aboard.
This picture, taken sometime later, shows what our friend Kat has called the 'gym' of living on the hard. Bicycles (with extra small wheels just to get your heart rate up!). Ladder for clambering up and down at least 10 times a day, often with bags. Ropes, for hauling things 4m up to get them on board. Or indeed lowering stuff, such as waste water.
The funny thing is, you don't lose any weight for all this, though maybe the temptations of baguette and camembert have something to do with that.
The large jerry can provides a reservoir with which to run the fridge, which improves life a lot. On RG the fridge is water-cooled, which makes it very power efficient once in the water, but complicated to run when on the hard.

Life on Roaring Girl
Trains and buses
12/04/2008, Cardiff to Torquay

Having seen Sarah off to Norwich this morning, I returned to Jenny's house to get get ready for my own trip to Torquay. Packed and ready, it's back to the station.
Ah! First round of angst. Trains turn into buses one stop along at Newport. Of course, I miss my connection (and all the rest. Nightmare!)
"Just get on the next train, miss."
What with three changes, I'm a bit nervous, steeling myself for rejections and accusations of fare dodging. I arrived in Torquay painlessly - a miracle!

Places and people
Goodbye for now
08/04/2008, Upper Hutt

On Tuesday afternoon we set off with Beryl down to Wellington, and had a very pleasant day seeing the sites of the Hutt Valley and visiting the fabulous restaurant at the Maranui Surf Club. This is Beryl and Pip before leaving.
The trip back to the UK took forever, and because we went through LA meant that we got Wednesday twice. All very confusing and at the time of writing (Friday morning) we are far from over the jet lag.
We are heading in different directions tomorrow, Sarah to visit family and Pip to see a friend in Devon. Sarah is then heading back home to Roaring Girl next week, but Pip has various things to do in the UK and will not be going back to France till mid-May.

Places and people
Rainbow Warrior
06/04/2008, Wellington

The Greenpeace ship has been doing a tour of NZ to promote targets on climate change, encouraging the government to set solid targets in the legislation currently going though parliament. We went aboard for an inspiring visit.
The first Rainbow Warrior was of course bombed and sunk in Auckland Harbour by the French, in their efforts to stop media attention and passive resistance to their nuclear tests in the Pacific. We were told that the ship's bell in the wheelhouse was recovered from that first boat. Alain Maffard (we're not this minute sure of the spelling) who was one of the two people convicted of the bombing, is now senior in the Environment Ministry in France, and by a quirk of history was the leader of a delegation to RW when she was moored in Marseilles to publicise pollution in the Mediterranean. He waffled a lot, and then the skipper told him that all important visitors to the vessel rang the bell. He did so, and was then told where it comes from.
The media (duly pre-briefed of course) were all watching, and so he then had to honestly address the issues raised by Greenpeace. A small crumb of revenge, and it made some use of the French attacks.

Places and people
Last view of the Pacific
04/04/2008, Rarangi Beach

Our first night in Puff was spent at the DOC site at Rarangi, so from Nelson we drove the beautiful road to Blenheim and then up the east coast which took us back past the same point. From the lookout above the beach, you get this amazing view south to the White Bluffs about 12 miles away.
The beach is fed with shingle from the river the far side of the Bluffs and is growing at the amazing rate of about 1m a year, which is a phenomonal amount of materiel. Turning north, you clearly see the North Island.
We then drove the back road that hugs the coast through Port Underwood (a major site of coastal whaling in the nineteenth century) up to Picton, a slow, winding and lovely road with astonishing views across the Sounds. Here we met up with Millie, and then had another lovely meal out with her, Helen and Mary. Great fun.
On Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, we visited the fascinating vessel Edwin Fox, a wooden ship that is preserved with her own museum on Picton Quay. She is the ninth oldest ship in the world (though she was only built in 1853, so we wondered about that). She has several unique claims to fame, having carried troops to the Crimea, convicts to Australia and settlers to New Zealand.
We then bid a final farewell to Puff, who now has new adventures ahead of her with Millie, and took the ferry back to Wellington.

Places and people
02/04/2008, Rongamai Ridge again

We drove back over the marble mountain (spectacular views!) to visit again with Melissa and Michelle. As suggested months ago, Lou had come north with her new partner, Suze. Melissa, Lou and Pip, who all used to work together, haven't been in one place for well over 10 years. A good excuse for a couple of raucous evenings.

Places and people
Suckling seals

In the morning we went a little north again to collect some lovely tiles from Estuary Arts. This whole area is full of artists workshops and little galleries, with some good work going on. Milnford Quay is just across from them, and we revisited to see the view in the new sunlight.
This young kokeno was suckling mightily just below the wharf. Mum, quite rightly, believed she was safe tucked away on these rocks, and let us take these photos. You could hear the noise as the pup drank.
The other excitement on the Quay was Pip shutting her finger in the Puff's door! We rushed back to Takaka where the excellent medical centre cleaned her up and used lots of butterfly plasters to hold her together. Nothing seems to be broken, which is good news. It took nearly as long to get all the blood off Puff.

Places and people
And here we are

For once we managed to get a picture of both of us, on a bridge over the springs. Of course, it's raining.
We stayed the night at Carlconna House in Takaka, as we were feeling a touch of cabin fever from being stuck in Puff in such bad weather. Carlconna House, run by Cath and Tony, is a very upmarket backpackers! It counts as a backpackers because some facilities are shared - the kitchen, living room and so on, and not every room is ensuite. But wow! The extremely comfortable rooms are doubles or twins (no dorms here), the kitchen is better stocked than many homes, the living areas are so comfortable. We were lucky enough to have the whole house to ourselves, though it was great to chat to Cath and Tony over breakfast in the morning. We would recommend this place to anyone; really delightful.

Places and people
Crystal purity

The only place in the world where the water is known to be as clean is under the Ross Ice Shelf in Antactica. This picture shows how the perceived colour of the rock changes with depth. Nearer the edge of the pool the rocks can be seen as yellow or white, much as they appear in the air. As the water gets deeper, colour is refracted away and the same rocks appear as light blue by about 4m depth. Further away, when the pool reaches its maximum of 7m depth, only blue light makes it through and the rocks seem to be dark blue but are still clearly visible. This change is entirely due to the refraction in the clear water, undimmed by minerals or silt.
The springs are also believed to be the home of the taniwha (water monster) Huriawa.

Places and people

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Who: Pip Harris and Sarah Tanburn
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