06 December 2018 | Slip H10. Bay of Islands Marina
04 November 2018 | Opua, New Zealand
09 May 2018 | Vavaâu, The Kingdom of Tonga
28 April 2017 | Great Barrier Island
05 February 2017 | Opua, New Zealand
09 November 2016 | Bay of Islands, New Zealand
26 October 2016 | Baie de Kuto, Isle of Pines
11 October 2016 | PortmSud
10 October 2016 | Port Moselle Marina. Noumea, New Caledonia
12 August 2016 | Vuda Marina, Fiji
09 July 2016 | Isle de Pines
06 July 2016 | Isle of Pines
PAST 6 MONTHS
09 June 2019
What have we been doing? Well, I know one thing that we have not been doing! For many reasons, none of them really sound, I have not paid any attention to our blog. Must remedy that!
I am going to do a very condensed version. My last posting was in December when we motored to the big wharf in Opua New Zealand to have our mast removed. Tempo Spars in Sydney had made a new bottom half for our mast, shipped it to New Zealand and J.B Marine in Opua did the work of putting us back together.
MAST COMING OFF---THIS TIME SCHEDULED!
14 December 2018
The day before yesterday we motored out of slip H10, tootled around a bit in the bay and then tied up to the wharf where a crane was waiting to remove the mast. This was double excitement as we were moving under engine power, something we hadn't done since half way through our last passage from Savusavu to New Zealand.
We left early in the morning, calm water in the marina and brilliant sunshine. Pied-a-Mer was smiling even though she was under motor power. It didn't take long for Rob (NSR) to climb the mast and to attach it to the crane. With guidance from 2 NSR staff and Eric the mast was guided off the boat, up over the wharf and onto the cement for transport to NSR. We motored back to slip H10.
06 December 2018 | Slip H10. Bay of Islands Marina
Here we are, one week into December. The last word we had on our mast was that it was shipped on the cargo ship, ANL WARRNAMBOO (that's not a typo), expected to arrive in Tauranga on December 7th. The mast will travel by train to the main inland terminal in Auckland, the container unpacked, checked by customs and should be in Opua on the 17th. We're crossing fingers and toes.
IN A MARINA——WHAT DO WE DO ALL DAY?
24 November 2018
Our routine on Pied-a-Mer III changes with the location, season and weather. We are in New Zealand for cyclone season and, at the moment we are in the Bay Of Islands Marina. We are still dealing with issues from our dismasting last May and new problems that occurred on our passage from SavuSavu to New Zealand.
Our days begin around 0530 or 0600. The bathrooms and showers are a short walk from our slip. The facilities are very new and modern. One $2.00 NZ coin gives you a 5 minute hot shower.
Back at the boat by 0700 for breakfast and,on weekdays, the 0800
VHF Cruisers Net. Tuesday I am the Net Host which means I open the net and use the following script: "Good morning and Welcome to the (in this case), Opua Cruisers Net on Tuesday December 5, 2018." The following categories are covered:
1. Is there any medical or emergency traffic? Come now.
2. It's time for check-ins. Who is out there this morning? Please give us your name and boat name.
3. Weather. ( A brief synopsis of the day's forecast with tide information.) Any comments on the weather?
4. Announcements, social, educational, anything?
5. Rides. Anyone needing a ride or offering a ride?
6. Services needed or wanted?
7. Treasures of the bilge. Swap, trade or sell.
8. Crew wanted or wanting to crew?
9. Anything about anything?, come now. If nothing heard after "anything about anything" the net is closed.
Now it’s time for a second cup of coffee and reviewing what we need or want to do the rest of the day. Eric is in charge of repairs, which at the moment are monumental. There seem to always be a few phone calls....Australia, U.S. and local New Zealand. In each country we visit we get a SIM card for our phone. The phone plus Skype allows us to pretty much talk to all of the people we need advice from, order parts from or general information. Our phone plan in New Zealand is called “Skinny” and through it we can call the US for six cents a minute and no charge for New Zealand or Australia. So, Eric works on all that is needed to get us back out sailing and I go about my day.
Marina life allows me the ability to walk off the boat whenever I please. This makes a big difference in almost everything that I do.
A good example is grocery shopping, I feel like a “kid in a candy store” when I shop in New Zealand. I can buy almost any ingredient or food item that I want and don’t have to provision for several days at a time. There is no “waiting for the supply ship” to bring flour, apples, cabbage, cheese, etc. as we have found in some of the South Pacific. I can walk to the Opua Grocery (tho something’s are quite expensive) or catch a ride into Pahia or KeriKeri. This allows me to have all of the fresh produce that I want. There is no need for powdered eggs, powdered milk and New Zealand has wonderful whole grain breads.
TO BE CONTINUED. WORK IN PROGRESS.
New Zealand Thanksgiving
23 November 2018
One of the many nice things about living for 6 months in the Southern Hemisphere is celebrating holidays. We get to celebrate twice! Our New Zealand Thanksgiving was last Thursday, November 22-Thanksgiving On The Green. We celebrated with our "Cruising Family", a tailgate potluck.
As our "family" is comprised of folks from many different countries, an explanation of a "tailgate potluck" was in order.
The next day we celebrated Thanksgiving in the US by phoning our kids/grandkids and messages to friends. We saw many Thanksgiving tables and smiling faces on Face Book. We are thankful for continuing good health, wonderful family and friends and the opportunity to live this unique lifestyle.
04 November 2018 | Opua, New Zealand
Pam. Very chilly
After our wonderful time in Oregon and Washington with family and friends, we returned To Neiafu, Tonga and spent a few weeks getting the boat ready for our second attempt at Hawaii. May 11 we left Neiafu for Hilo, Hawaii. The weather window looked good, we knew we would spend a good part of the journey traveling up wind. We left Tonga under third reef as we had good winds and continued under third reef and eventually partially furled jib, until the morning of the 15th when, at 0330, there was a horrific noise, grinding, jarring---you name it, we heard it and felt it. We were both sitting in the salon. I was on watch but had gotten Eric up to help furl more of the jib. Once we realized that the mast was down----the jib stay had broken -----Eric spent about 10 minutes thinking about what to do and how to do it, and then we mobilized.
Using every sheet, halyard and shroud we lashed the mast to the port side of the boat, rested one of the spreaders over a solar panel and prayed that all would stay intact.
The jib and the jib stay were in the water. Using a wench and leverage we were able to get them back up on the boat and tied down. We motored the 120 nm to American Samoa, where we tied up to a cement wharf at the end of the marina.
We were fortunate to have friends in Pago Pago----Tim Jones, who had a crane and George Poysky, from Clatskanie, who loaned us a truck for our 4 month stay. We were able to lift the mast and place it on oil drums right on the wharf beside the boat.
Pantaenius, our Insurance Co., sent a surveyor from Brisbane, who seeing a chunk out of the bottom of the mast, felt that it would not be a problem. He did not include this damage in his written report and it wasn't until one of our fellow cruisers, who was a professional rigger said, "You can't leave the mast like that". So, arrangements have been made to have the bottom half of the mast remade (it is made in two parts) in Sydney and shipped to New Zealand. To allow us to sail to New Zealand a sleeve was made in Australia and bolted around the bottom of the mast.
During our four months in Pago Pago we repaired, replaced, ordered and received a variety of boat parts. Our sails which had only 96 hours of use were shipped back to Sydney for repair. Tempo Spars in Australia made a new 15 foot crossbar and new rigging. Two new solar panels were ordered from New Zealand. A new stanchion from the Seawind factory in Vietnam Nam was ordered. Eric spent hours looking through catalogs to find replacement lines, grab bars, wind instrument and many other assorted pieces and parts.
We left Pago Pago on September 25 and arrived in Savu Savu, Fiji on October 1. We enjoyed catching up with friends in Savu Savu, worked on the outboard, tried unsuccessfully to get the new wind instrument working, filled a propane tank and left on October 9th for New Zealand. Since we had no wind instrument we depended on tell tales and the Beaufort Scale for wind direction and speed. On our third day out the starboard engine smoked up the boat and quit. We had been unable to get Yanmar belts in Pago Pago and the belts that we did get were not good at all. The belt melted, the exhaust hose came off, water not pumping. Day 5 saw that the rope channel on the crossbar had pulled loose from the crossbar with all of the rivets disengaging from the bar. Eric did his best to minimize the damage by tying the trampoline and the metal piece onto the crossbar but seas and wind made it impossible to save the trampoline. Day 9 the port engine failed the same as the starboard, belt failure, exhaust failure. So, we sailed!
We had been doing daily SSB "check ins" with Peter at Northland Radio and on our last night Peter told us to watch for 40 boats that were racing from Auckland to the Opua area. His warning was, "Make sure you have the proper lights on". When I turned the navigation lights on, the starboard light didn't work. It had worked every night of the passage but not this last night! Eric immediately got our dinghy navigation lights and some rescue tape and, in quite a bit of wind, secured the dinghy light to the grab bar on the side of the targa. We actually didn't see any of the racing boats until early morning.
That last day the wind died. We were so excited if our SOG reached 2.0kt., isn't that the craziest? On the VHF Radio were able to talk to JB Marine in Opua and arrange for a tow into the marina. James Christie of JB Marine even arranged with the marina and customs to tow us directly to our slip and bypass the quarantine dock. Customs and Immigration came to us in the slip.
So, parts have been ordered for the engines. We're waiting to see whether the crossbar should be repaired or replaced, two new trampolines or one, where to have the bottom half of the mast shipped? During all of these problems no one was hurt, there's nothing on the boat that can't be fixed and all and all it's just part of the adventure!