Our Ever-Changing Backyard--Sailing with Scoots

17 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
14 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
13 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
12 June 2019 | Marsden Cove Marina, Ruakaka, NZ
06 May 2019 | Paradise Taveuni Resort
04 March 2019 | Koro Island
05 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
01 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
30 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
29 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
28 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
26 November 2018 | Port Denarau Marina, near Nadi, Fiji
18 November 2018 | Makogai Island, Fiji
27 October 2018 | Rukuruku, Fiji
22 October 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
21 September 2018 | Leleuvia Island, Fiji

Auckland's Maritime Museum, Sir Peter Blake, Baxter joins the team, learning to drive like a Kiwi, and a Fun Fact

18 January 2017 | Whangarei Town Basin Marina
Vandy
We arrived into Auckland at around midnight, after a fun and relaxing visit to the States. Because of our late arrival, we'd opted to stay overnight in the city, planning to make the three-hour bus ride back to Whangarei in the afternoon of the following day.


Iconic

We spent the day exploring Auckland's Maritime Museum, down at the waterfront. What a fantastic place! With exhibits and information spanning New Zealand's long maritime history, from the arrival of the Maoris, through several America's Cup victories by Team NZ (but no mention of the Kiwis' embarrassing loss to the US team in the most recent America's Cup series), and including ferries, barges, ocean liners, shipwrecks, a comprehensive array of sailing dinghies, and even a noontime cannon firing, the museum is a must-see if you have any interest at all in boat-related things, and a few hours to spend in Auckland.



It also sported an entire hall devoted to favorite Kiwi sailing son and environmental activist, Sir Peter Blake, whose name is nearly synonymous with sailing, especially here in New Zealand. I'd known nothing about Sir Peter when I'd arrived, but by the time I left, I knew plenty. In addition to winning several America's Cup races with Team NZ, a slew of ocean races, and earning the Jules Verne Trophy in the mid-1990s for the fastest sailing circumnavigation, Blake was also known for helping to raise awareness about environmental causes, including global warming. Though murdered in Brazil while attempting to defend his crew from pirates who'd boarded their environmental research vessel, Seamaster (later renamed Tara), his legacy lives on through the continuing efforts of Tara Expeditions http://oceans.taraexpeditions.org/en/

After returning to Whangarei, we got serious about finding a car, so we could begin our land-based explorations. Eric spent several days perusing the websites of local auto auctions, local ads, and Trade Me (NZ's version of Craigslist), where he happened upon an ad for a car named Baxter.

Baxter is a red 1999 Toyota Camry whose price, condition, and features included everything we were looking for...and a cool name, to boot. After a quick once-over, a short test drive, an exchange of cash, and some necessary paperwork, Baxter joined our team. It's very freeing to know that all of New Zealand is now available for our wanderings.



Fun Fact: Here in NZ, For Sale ads often contain the acronym "ONO" after the price, not "OBO." Any guesses what that might stand for? (I'll tell you at the end of the blog.)

Once we had a car, then came the fun...driving on the left-hand side of the road - and all it entails.
The controls are on the right, of course, and the rear-view mirror is up to the LEFT, instead of up to the right, so we have to remember to look there to see what's behind us. When turning right, we have to watch for cars coming from the LEFT, and remember to end up in the FAR lane. Turning left is easy, though; we just turn into the closest lane and keep going.

Baxter sports a 5-speed manual transmission, so in addition to everything else that's backwards to us, we also have to learn to shift left-handed. Fortunately, the pedals, while being locating on the right-hand side of the car, are still in the same order as they are in the States....clutch, brake, gas. Having to relearn all the foot movements, as well as shifting left-handed would have been too much for us!

And then there are the roundabouts. So many roundabouts! This is where it all comes together: we wait to enter ("Give Way," in Kiwispeak); then, when it's clear, shift into first gear, start heading around to the left, keeping to the leftmost lane; shift into second while watching for cars entering from three or four additional entry points; and exit (hopefully) at our intended street, still keeping to the left.

So far, we've only driven together, with each of us having a stint in the driver's and passenger's seats. Each seat has its own special kind of scary. It's scary to sit in the passenger seat because you can't control the car from the left side, as you're used to. It's scary to be in the driver's seat because, well, you're the one driving, and, at least for now, it takes a fair amount of concentration to keep out of trouble.

Also, I've been briefly alarmed when I noticed that the person in the left hand seat of another car wasn't watching the road - at all - while the car was moving - until I remembered that, oh yeah, that's the passenger seat here. Old habits take some time to be changed.

The passenger's job is to remind the driver of things that aren't instinctual yet, but are necessary to know while driving here. During turns, the passenger reminds the driver which direction cars will be coming from and which lane to end up in after the turn. While navigating a roundabout, the passenger helps the driver know when we can enter the roundabout, when and where other cars are entering the roundabout, and which exit we'll want to aim for. Additionally, the passenger may, at any time, without prior warning and occasionally in a high-pitched voice, alert the driver that the car is TOO CLOSE to the edge of the road.

While this sort of participation by the passenger would normally fall into the realm of nagging or back-seat-driving, at the moment it's very helpful to each of us, at least while we shift our driving habits to the other side of the road.

So far, we've had a fun and dent-free adventure, with lots of laughter along with the nervous perspiration. Shifting with our left hands has proven to be much easier than expected. Now if we can just stop signaling with the windshield wipers!

Fun Fact answer: ONO stands for "Or Near Offer."


Comments
Vessel Name: SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed to Mexico with the 2014 Baja Haha and had fun exploring Mexico until April 2016, when we turned SCOOTS west and headed to the South Pacific. As of late Nov. 2016, SCOOTS and her crew are exploring New Zealand.
Social:
SCOOTS's Photos - Main
3 Photos
Created 6 May 2019
13 Photos
Created 4 March 2019
2 Photos
Created 26 November 2018
16 Photos
Created 18 November 2018
11 Photos
Created 27 October 2018
12 Photos
Created 1 October 2018
6 Photos
Created 21 September 2018
9 Photos
Created 19 July 2018
7 Photos
Created 19 June 2018
No Photos
Created 19 June 2018
11 Photos
Created 18 October 2017
7 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 July 2017
14 Photos
Created 12 April 2017
35 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 20 March 2017
18 Photos
Created 2 March 2017
19 Photos
Created 16 February 2017
4 Photos
Created 18 January 2017
30 Photos
Created 14 December 2016
29 Photos
Created 5 November 2016
52 Photos
Created 23 October 2016
24 Photos
Created 12 October 2016
49 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 15 September 2016
43 Photos
Created 2 September 2016
46 Photos
Created 4 August 2016
32 Photos
Created 21 July 2016
12 Photos
Created 1 July 2016
15 Photos
Created 20 June 2016
17 Photos
Created 5 June 2016
1 Photo
Created 3 June 2016
45 Photos
Created 11 May 2016
10 Photos
Created 2 May 2016
2 Photos
Created 1 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 22 March 2016
12 Photos
Created 14 March 2016
2 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
5 Photos
Created 19 January 2016
7 Photos
Created 27 December 2015
6 Photos
Created 16 December 2015
No Photos
Created 27 November 2015
4 Photos
Created 1 November 2015
19 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
4 Photos
Created 23 July 2015
6 Photos
Created 11 July 2015
13 Photos
Created 21 June 2015
9 Photos
Created 15 June 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 May 2015
No Photos
Created 28 May 2015
17 Photos
Created 5 May 2015
2 Photos
Created 30 April 2015
35 Photos
Created 24 April 2015
8 Photos
Created 25 March 2015
8 Photos
Created 10 March 2015
49 Photos
Created 14 February 2015
7 Photos
Created 10 February 2015
20 Photos
Created 26 January 2015
24 Photos
Created 20 December 2014
No Photos
Created 20 December 2014
10 Photos
Created 11 December 2014
5 Photos
Created 3 December 2014
11 Photos
Created 14 November 2014
34 Photos
Created 10 November 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 October 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 October 2014
5 Photos
Created 18 October 2014
8 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
16 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
6 Photos
Created 24 September 2014
9 Photos
Created 23 September 2014
8 Photos
Created 21 September 2014
4 Photos
Created 20 September 2014
5 Photos
Created 18 September 2014
5 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 August 2014
1 Photo
Created 25 July 2014
2 Photos
Created 14 May 2014
49 Photos
Created 3 November 2013
32 Photos
Created 8 August 2013
Pics from our trip time aboard Scoots in July 2013.
23 Photos
Created 7 July 2013