11 April 2009
We are back in the water after having Meridian hauled out at the local boatyard for some routine- and not so routine- maintenance. A couple of weeks ago we left our slip on B dock for the first time since arriving in Whangarei to motor the short distance down river to the boat yard. In spite of having to remove the headstay and inner forestay so we would fit on the TravelLift it went quite smoothly. Lots of expected grunge on the bottom of the boat and some question about the rudder but all in all no big deal.
Since we'd anticipated being out of the water for about a week, we decided it would be safer and more comfortable to take up residence at the local motel, literally steps from the boatyard. This ensured that I didn't have my heart leaping into my throat every time the girls wanted to get on and off the boat, a process that would have necessitated them climbing a steep unsecured ladder up (up, up, up, up to blood-curdling heights!) the side of the boat. The motel option is a popular one with cruisers while their boats are "on the hard" so we were in good company. We were next door to Tin Soldier and the girls got plenty of good play time in as Grace and her family from Wind Dancer were there as well.
So the bottom got pressure washed and painted a lovely blue, and we raised the water line a bit in the aft as we tend to be bottom-heavy (no comments, please) and the bootstripe was underwater back there. John also addressed an issue with the rudder that was nagging at us.
Town Basin Marina is getting pretty crowded these days and our former slip was no longer available so when we returned we rafted up next to Malachi in front of "Reva's" a waterfront restaurant here in Town Basin Marina. Malachi is a sistership from Canada we'd actually met way back in Mazatlan, but our paths never really crossed since then so it was nice to get to know this wonderful family and fun to check the boats out side by side and compare and contrast.
Malachi (and Orca III) have since departed for the long trip back to British Columbia by way of the Australs, Tahiti and Hawaii so we are now front and center in front of "Reva's".
Initially we thought we'd prefer the privacy and anonymity of being back on the other side of the river, but the park is on this side and we've decided it's more advantageous for the girls to be on this side with the park only a hop, skip and jump away. (And of course, that's exactly how they get there: hopping, skipping and jumping. Oh, to have that kind of energy!)
I'm certain John would still prefer to back on B dock- particularly as a large steel boat with 7 people aboard rafted to us yesterday. This means that we are side-tied to the dock, and the other boat is side-tied to us. This also means that the only way for people on the outside boat to get to land is to walk across our boat. Boaters are generally very sensitive and respectful in these situations (shoes off, walking softly, no eye contact- basically trying to be invisible) and these seven gentlemen are no exception. But there are SEVEN of them So currently there's a bit more back and forth than John is comfortable with. They're getting ready to head to Fiji, any day now really, so I think we just might get away without John having a coronary.
(Yep, I realize there's a bit of hypocrisy in play here... after all, we were rafted to Malachi. Better to be the rafter than raftee I guess. Plus we know them.)
On a happier note unlike last year (when the Easter Bunny missed the memo saying we'd be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean) he managed to find his way to our boat last night and fill the girls' baskets with chocolate and other goodies. In fact I think I even heard his footsteps as he trod across our deck... oh wait, that was probably one of the guys from the rafted boat. At any rate the girls and I dyed eggs- a bit more of a challenge here because they DON"T HAVE PAAS!!! No matter, I improvised and actually made our own with vinegar, water and food coloring. (Yes, I know, Martha Steward eat your heart out.) Of course the other challenge is that all the New Zealand eggs are BROWN. They sure taste good but you're never going to be able to dye them bright pink or yellow.
We're still gearing up for a early to mid-May departure for Fiji... assuming the political situation there has settled...