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R/V Tender Spirit: Now Land Cruising
Join us as we discover new cruising grounds with our "boat" the RV Tender Spirit. Swallowing the Anchor doesn't mean giving up cruising!
May 3
05/02/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji

We traveled 134 miles in the last 24 hours. Our current position is 32 25's, 175 53'E traveling on a course of 011, speed,5.5 knots. Weather is high overcast, light gusty, shifting winds mostly east at about 8-15 knots. we have the engine on now because between gusts, the sail is collapsing. We are very happy with our progress, and all is well on board. 940 miles to go. An albatross kept up company for quite awhile yesterday. Nothing quite perks us up more than watching those giant birds gliding so effortlessly. No flying fish yet. It is still cold, but as we head north, it will start to warm up. Pearl is starting to get her sea legs. She has a harder time jumping around the boat right now, but she is quick to wag the tail, and ready to play. We sure are happy to have her on board! She takes permanent watch snuggled up with whoever is napping.

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
Heaps of wind!
05/01/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji

the wind has been keeping us busy in the last 24 hours! Its been in the 25-35 knot range. We are moving along at a great pace and have traveled 130 miles in the last 24 hours. It's a sloppy ride. We gybed...accidentally, and broke the eye bolt on the first reef. When the wind slows down a bit, we will replace it and be good to go. For right now, we don't need the main up and still have the 2nd reef to use. About eleven last night I looked down and saw a hose clamp....broken in the bottom of the cockpit. I just cleaned it out, but thought that it may have been left over from the mechanics last week. Well, an hour later, I hear something fall....two more hose clamps, and now the wheel assembly for the wind vane steering is rattling around....all the hose clamps had sheared off! So Chuck and I spent the next two hours weaving new hose clamps in and attaching it back on. It was quite the adventure because of course we are also steering, and it's blowing 30 knots, so it was quite the comedy show in the middle of the night, trying to get it back together. It's fixed and working just fine. Other than a couple minor repairs, all is going well. We are making good speed, and hopefully this will be a quick passage!

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
Left New Zealand
04/30/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji

We checked out this morning with customs, bid goodbye to New Zealand, and headed off shore. We are making a nice speed, averaging a bit over 6 knots. The wind is boisterous in the 28-32 knot range. All is well on board and we are settling quite nicely. A pod of porpoises joined us for quite some time, bidding us farewell. The rain has tapered off, and now we are looking forward to some warmer temperatures. This passage is about 1100 nautical miles, so we should arrive in about 11 days or so depending on the weather conditions.

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
Arrived at Marsden Cove
04/29/2010, Marsden Cove, New Zealand

We are at Marsden Cove now. All we have left is to check out with customs in the morning. We will be sad to put the long white cloud in our wake, but very excited about cruising around Fiji! Marsden Cove Marina is a nice spot, but far away from town, so it is just a nice place to rest and finish last minute preparations. There is a fuel dock here, but it is 100% automated and decided it wouldn't accept any of our cards. So if you are heading this way, be sure to either get fuel at Town Basin, or have some New Zealand cash to hopefully trade with a local person with a card that works! We did this, and some trading using US dollars with another cruiser.

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
Last Minute Perparations
04/28/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand

We are finishing up getting the boat ready for the passage to Fiji. We have just some last minute chores and the stowing of provisions. It's hard to believe that we are already leaving New Zealand. We sure have enjoyed our stay here. The People are very special here and we will be leaving with an intention of returning down the road to explore more of the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Our weather window continues to hold promise so we have an appointment with Customs and Immigration to leave Saturday morning from Marsden Cove, which is at the mouth of the river. We were going to leave for Marsden Cove this morning, but didn't quite finish up so we will head out tomorrow morning with the tide and a couple other cruisers. We are all excited to be heading to warmer waters and new adventures.

As usual, we will be posting our progress here on the blog through the single sideband radio and also on Yotreps. My callsign is AL3I. We will also be checking into the Pacific Seafarer's Net. If you go to their web site, you can listen to the vessels transmitting their reports live. If you have a radio the frequency is 13400mhz starting at 0300 UTC (Universal time) with reports starting at 0330.

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
Out of the Yard, and in the Water!
04/26/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand

We are finally back in the water after a bit of a delay as we had to wait for boat bits to arrive from Australia. The engine is now ready for another year of cruising.
A weather window is developing for us to leave New Zealand this Friday so we will not be going to Opua, but rather checking out of the country at Marsden Cove, at the mouth of the river.
We have a lot of loose ends to tie up before we can leave. As always, the last few days seems to be a bit frantic, but we sure are getting excited about setting sail and heading back to warm tropical waters.

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
Short Delay
04/08/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand

As expected there are always a few surprises in the boatyard, both good and bad. We finally got the last through-hull moving. We had resigned ourselves to replacing it, but thankfully, it is now good to go. The work we did on the bottom last year (filled a few blisters, and a new barrier coat) really turned out great. The hull is looking better than ever! This year we added a silicone coating called "Speed Prop" to our propeller. The Kiwis we've talked to love it because is keeps the propeller clear of "critters" for multiple seasons. Our engine needs some work done on the exhaust system and it was discovered that we have some loose engine mounts!! So work on this will happen next week. Other than that, all is looking great for another year of cruising. We are still on track for our Fiji passage, we will just spend less time going north to Opua than planned.

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
On the Hard
04/06/2010, Whangarei, New Zealand

We are busy finishing last minute tasks out of the water in the boatyard. This is not my favorite "cruising destination", but an important annual event for us. We now have fresh bottom paint and zincs. I'm going through all the sea cocks. I have only one that seems to be stubborn. Hopefully it will cooperate tomorrow! We are also in the process of replacing our steering cable, and doing some engine maintenance while we have access to a great Yanmar/Volvo shop. We fired up the generator, and sure enough, something isn't working quite right. I suspect old fuel or dirty fuel may be the culprit. That will hopefully be remedied tomorrow.

We are planning on getting back in the water on Friday, stay here for a day or so then start heading north to Opua. We are making a slight change in our plans for this year. We are thinking that it may be a better passage to go to Fiji instead of Tonga. The Tonga passage could be quite a windward passage this year, so we will probably ease off and go to Fiji instead. I have to admit that our cruising friends are all heading that way, and it would be great to continue to travel together for a little while longer. before we really scatter to the far corners of the planet!

2010 Northbound from New Zealand

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Adventures of Tender Spirit
Who: Joan & Chuck
Port: Sitka, Alaska
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