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SV Secret Agent Man
Eric Rone

Betty with hedgehog

01/20/2012 | Allison
Ingrid and I looked through all your new pictures last night. This was her favorite!

Hello all
Im sorry for the lack of posts recently but I have been way busy the last few weeks. I went over to Australia and spent Christmas at Auntie Laura's house. It was awesome to spend the holidays with family and thank you very much Laura, Kate and Neil for your hospitality and it was fun walking your goats. I got back to New Zealand on new years eve and had only a couple of days to do some boatwork and my friend from Seattle Amy showed up to sail aroung the Bay of Islands with me. The major project was to replace the forestay and fix the profurler so that we could have the big furling jib to sail with. I got that done and we sailed around for five days. We meant to see a tallships race but that day there was a depression and lots of rain so we didnt see much. Apparently it blew 48knots in the race and we listened all day to some poor yachties on the radio who were dismasted off the coast. We did make it out into the islands after that and had some epic sailing. It is awesome that it is always windy here. It is very much like the San Juans big with 15-20 knots every day. After cruising on Secret Agent Man we took the bus down to Auckland and the fairy out to Waiheke. Waiheke is an island just east of the city and a 30 min. ferry ride. Amy is the manager of a "woofer farm" which is a permaculture farm where backpackers go. They can stay for free if they work on the farm. SHe has a Blue Healer dog named betty, a sweet house (here you would say "sweet as house") all the veggies she could possibly eat out of her sweet as garden, cool owners, and a wonderful community. And the place is full on sustainable with a composting out house, water catchment, the whole bit.

01/16/2012 | Julia
Wow - the farm where Amy lives sounds like my dream home!
01/16/2012 | Amy
Wonderful times Eric! Thank you for taking me cruising and thank you for all your beautiful hard work on the farm. The worms love their new home and the terraces look flash! Betty and I miss you already! Until next time... I'll be working on my dice game...

Amy sailing in the Bay of Islands.

01/16/2012 | Eric Rone
Right after this picture was taken the forestay unwound itself and we had to furl the headsail. The new noresman type threaded ends to the forestay and the new lower stay didnt have pinholes in them. I couldnt be bothered to drill holes in 11mm stainless steel before Amy got here which turned out to be a mistake and luckily everything stayed up.

...This is where her farm is. It reminds me of the shire in The Lord of the Rings. It has epic sunsets, it is really quiet, and the view is spectacular. I just got back to the boat and I really miss the place already. It was a really nice spot. I fixed the plumbing and made a new filter for the grey water biofilter on the outdoor sink which is a tub that has layers of rocks and sand and woodchips and bear grass in it. It then has a pipe that goes to the garden and the theory is that the plants and bugs break down the soap and food bits from the grey water enough that it wont hurt yuour plants. It was still a little too stron for the garden so it goes to the bannana trees. Anyway I had a blast. Amy rocks, the owners were cool (they were Americans), there were two backpackers from Chile and Argentina who were also very cool, Betty the dog was cool (I wish I had a picture of her) and all is all I have had a great few weaks of the trip these past few weeks. Now... boatwork... The list is long and Im keen to sail down to the Huraki gulf soon. Sorry for the lack of posts but Im back and Ill try to keep them coming.
PS I saw Grant Dalton and said "Whats Up?"

01/17/2012 | Craig
Eric Baggins has a Ring to it me thinks.

01/16/2012 | Eric Rone
This is the farm on the right, and two neighbors houses as well as the Huraki gulf. You can see the city and their "Space Needle" from the front porch of Amy's caretaker house.



Putiki bay on Waiheke. Sweet spot to careen.



Tree climbing on waiheke.

Rig fix..

Hey guys.
This is some rig tuning that I did at Minerva reef. The problem was that the rig was a little loose and the leeward shrouds would be very loose allowing the spreader to move back and fourth as I hit waves. I made some iron wood wedges and pounded them in between the mast and spreader end so it cant move. I also tightened the rig and liked how it felt on the rest of the voyage.

12/03/2011 | Dad
Nicely done, your skills have continued to develop. One day you will truly be a jedi knight.
12/03/2011 | Rod Lambert
Hey, welcome to NZ Mate! We have been here in Whangarei since last November. We did some major work that kept the boat out of the water since January. Almost done now. Would be nice to see you. Drop a line at: [email protected] Best Always, Rod and Elisabeth
12/05/2011 | Joe Jasper
A single wedge may work loose and often only has two lines of contact rather than broad surfaces. If the twos surfaces against which you are placing wedge pressure are relatively parallel, then place one wedge in backwards the other forward. The first should be cut so that it's broad end is narrower than the slot so you can slip it in. The part sticking out can be trimmed flush. The second wedge can have its sharp end trimmed so it can be driven in tightly, otherwise the tip may hit home before the side pressure is tight.

Sweet as...

Hello all,
I have arrived in Opua. Actually it was a week and a half ago but I have been very busy getting settled and working on my boat. I promised myself that I would take some time off when I got here but it didnt work out that way. There is an ultimate chandlery and heaps of other marine services so I ended up getting right in to it and have only had a couple of days off. The bay of islands is epic. It is like the San Juans spiced a little differently. There are lots of boats, its windy, and there are no houses. In fact it is like the san juans with out houses. This picture is of a foot path that goes along right on the beach, through everyones yards, from Opua to Pahia. Ive never seen anything like it in the US. It just goes through the yards of these million dollar beachfront homes. Driving is easy except your first day you hit the windshield wipers everytime you turn or change lanes. I am keen to cruise around, but I dont have windows or a starboard lower shroud, or a forestay wight now so Ill have to wait on those things. Everything else is great, and Ill try and keep you all posted.


Opua marina looking east at the anchorage.


I did have a couple of very nice days at sea which found me thinking up recipies for this guy and mahi mahi.


More sea food!

12/03/2011 | tad
so jealous dude! the ultimate adventure of a lifetime! wishing you the best, good catching up last month.


Every one of you boat owners (even in the sound dad) should get AIS..

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