19 July 2015 | Unalakleet, Alaska
30 April 2013 | Point Hope
20 April 2012 | Anchorage, Alaska
17 April 2012 | Anchorage, Alaska
17 April 2012 | Anchorage, Alaska
10 January 2012 | Opua, New Zealand
24 December 2011 | Opua, New Zealand
03 December 2011 | Opua, New Zealand
04 November 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
02 November 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
01 November 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
31 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
30 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
30 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
29 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
27 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
26 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
Tender Spirit Turns 24 Today
17 March 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
Today is Tender Spirit's 24th Birthday! We celebrate her birthday on the day that we took ownership of her. We have had her now for 5 years. As we reflected on having her, we have absolutely no regrets. She sure has been a great off-shore sailboat for us and a comfortable, all be it small home. As we were wandering around the Auckland Boat Show last week, we certainly didn't find any boats that we would trade her for! We spent some time today reflecting on the work and upgrades we have done to her over the last 5 year. We definitely decided that it would be a bad thing to total all the costs (we think it is well over what we paid for her) so instead we will enjoy all of the benefits of having her as we prepare for this year's cruising adventures.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you, may you find more happiness than 4-leaf clovers!
Day Trip to Auckland
12 March 2010 | Auckland, New Zealand
We took off by land with some cruising friends and went to the Auckland Boat Show. For Chuck and I, it was huge,but according to our cruising friends it was quite small by Newport standards. Still, we had a grand time looking at all the new shiny gear and connecting with a few vendors that we would like to do business with down the road. We may have a long "want" list, but Chuck hasn't pulled through on winning the lotto yet! The show was also like a family reunion as we ran into friends that we hadn't seen since we left Opua and Tonga.
Auckland sure is a beautiful city. We will definitely have to go back and spend some more time looking around!
06 March 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
We are starting to make preparations for leaving New Zealand in a leisurely manner now. Many things have been accomplished since we have been here, but there are still items on the "to do" list that will have to wait. We keep an ongoing list of boat projects and have everything prioritized as we can afford them. With the US dollar down, and the New Zealand dollar strengthening, our cost of living has been much more expensive than we had anticipated so some projects have been put on hold, and we did not do some of the sight seeing that we initially wanted to do. This does lead to some interesting possibilities as we make our 2010 cruising plans.
Our plans this year is to spend another year in the South Pacific Islands. We are going to flexible and see how the weather and our latest ideas shake out. Our only solid plan is to leave New Zealand for Tonga in mid to late April when the weather permits. We will cruise the islands of Tonga and Fiji. We will then make up our mind where to spend cyclone season. At this date we would like to go to the Marshall Islands. There is the outside possibility that we could come back to New Zealand to finish some of our projects. The plans are to be flexible this year and research our options for next year. We would like to see more of the South Pacific, and travel off the beaten path. We also need to set up our route for long term planning which includes the decision to circumnavigate the globe via South Africa or the Pacific Rim through Southeast Asia, Japan and back to Alaska. The political climate and economy will play a role in this decision. I have a hard time visualizing a circumnavigation without going to Europe, but for obvious reasons, the Red Sea will not be an option for the foreseeable future unless things change with the piracy issues in Somalia. We would dearly like to visit places in Southeast Asia, and some of the more remote islands of the Pacific. The most logical route is to continue westward and return to Alaska via Panama to Hawaii. Fortunately, we have lots of time to research our options this year and not make any westward commitments until next year. So our plans continue to be not having plans.
01 March 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
Our hearts go out to all the people in Chile. We are waiting for word from our cruising friends in Chile and hope all is well with them.
We woke to a knock on the boat from another cruiser waking all of us up early Sunday morning spreading the word of the tsunami warning. Many of us had first hand scary experiences from Tonga so we definitely took it seriously. After the initial urge to untie and leave....in a hurry, we stopped to weigh out our options. We are 17 miles inland up an estuary/river. We are still under the influence of tides and the water is mostly saltwater. With the full moon, we have some big tides and about the time the tsunami was scheduled to hit, the tide would be just starting to ebb. We all pretty much agreed that our best option was to stay put with the thoughts that a muddy bottom and mangrove bank would be a better risk rather than maybe not even making it out to open water in time. Our short pilings were a concern, but we decided to all hang out and if we needed we could use lines to secure the dock back to the bank. It turned out that there were no worries for us after all. The tide and currents were quite disrupted from its usual flow throughout the day. The tsunami brought up to a meter for some of the coastal areas in Northeastern New Zealand but with no damage.
Touring + A Valentine's Day Visitor!
15 February 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
We knew John would be touring New Zealand, but it was still a very pleasant surprise to see him here at Riverside Marina! We met John a number of years ago in Sitka. His sailboat, Sara was across from us. We sure enjoyed touring with him around the North Island. We traveled back up to Opua and Russell. We also checked out one of the world renown surfer beaches. Unfortunately for us and the surfers, it was flat calm out. Regardless, we had a grand visit.
Rigging and Boat Projects
30 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
This is a photo just down-river from where we are located. We sure admire the traditional sailing vessels!!
The rigging is finished. Well, at least for this year. We replaced all of our wire and switched to Sea Rig swageless terminals. This was the big project for this year. New wire will be a good peace of mind. We had no records from the previous owners concerning the standing rigging so we assumed that it was original wire, a scary thought since the boat is 23 years old! We were unable to replace it until now, but it was worth having it done in New Zealand.
Our new anchor also arrived. We decided not to sell the other two anchors. We really do need to have a variety to chose from, and also the fact that we can confidently lay out multiple large anchors when the need arises. We had been looking for a new anchor without success since leaving the states. With this in mind, if we lose an anchor, we will have a back-up plan. With rocks, coral heads, or unknown wrecks, there is a real possibility that there will come a time when we may not be able to retrieve an anchor.
I put in another new zipper in the mainsail cover. I hope this isn't going to become an annual event! We thought about replacing the cover this year, but when I looked into an estimate at the canvas shop out of shear curiosity, it was clear that we will be making it ourselves! I am saving our sewing projects for later in the year. Right now we are doing things that require lots of fresh water, being tied to a dock, or projects that we need help on.
Other things that we have done is the Hooka. It is now fixed and ready for action. I can't wait to go diving with it! We are also doing the annual scrubbing and cleaning out of every locker and every inch of the boat. It really is amazing how much stuff we have packed away in lockers. We will go everything. If we no longer need it, it will go away to make room for other things. I don't know if we will ever be successful at getting the boat back to it's waterline, but we do keep trying, however futile it appears!
Varnishing? That ongoing chore that seems to never make it off the to-do list. We did turn the boat around so the sanding has begun on the port side. People often question my sanity for keeping varnish on the boat in the tropics. I do too! But, it looks so beautiful, and I just can't bring myself to leaving it plain. That day will come, but not yet. I think of the woodwork like a homeowner views her garden. The house will be fine without flowers, but with pretty flowers and landscaping, it is beautiful. Sure, the boat will be fine without varnish, but she is so beautiful with it, so for now, I will keep at it!
Gear Review is Ready
17 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
I posted the Gear Review today. It's a long posting, so I have it listed to the right in the "Gear Review" folder. I hope that it is helpful.
15 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
We visited Abbey Caves, home of the famous glow worms. Yes, they really do glow in the dark. Getting to the caves was a short walk through cow pastures. We climbed through a small opening, waded through water, and there they were, little lights along the rock wall and ceiling. If we were outside, the little glow worms would resemble light from stars.
I added a new photo album titled "Whangarei, New Zealand". To view it click on the title "Photo Album" located below our profile photo.